Moulsecoomb Community Farm
The project will explore the feasibility of developing a community farm on a piece of land above Moulsecoomb. The long term vision is to establish a small mixed farming project (horticulture, livestock, orchard, timber etc) on a commercially viable social enterprise basis. It will provide training opportunities for local young people, volunteering opportunities for residents and students, and will sell produce at affordable prices for local people. The initial stage of the project is to undertake a feasibility study and in particular carry out a consultation process with the local community and other stakeholders to establish need and support for the project. This will be important for securing future funding for subsequent stages of the project. We know that there is a need and desire within the City for more locally and sustainably produced food – in order to do this there needs to be more food grown at the level of small ‘market gardens’ on the peri-urban fringe of the City. This piece of land in Moulsecoomb presents an opportunity to pilot such a project, which if it is successful can be replicated elsewhere.
What the projects hopes to achieve
The project will determine the viability of such a project, engage with the local community including residents and interested stakeholders. The process of engagement and consultation will introduce and explore sustainable local food production with people and result in more understanding of the issues. It is hoped that this will lead to a viable business plan for the development of the community farm and support from statutory agencies and residents for further development of the project.
Who the project will work with
- Local residents groups
- University of Brighton students and staff
- Plumpton College
- Brighton & Hove City Council
- Brighton & Hove Food Partnership
- Moulsecoomb Forest Garden
- Other stakeholders e.g. restaurants, retailers
How the project links to the idea of neighbourliness
This project is very much a ‘neighbourhood’ project, particularly as it has originated with a community neighbour and local resident. It will require the support of community members, in particular local residents. The consultation process will help university and community partners come together to explore issues that affect the local Moulsecoomb neighbourhood and which the project will help address. This will be an important foundation to the development of a future project and in itself will be an important process for all partners to take part in. The piece of land is situated in an area where in itself neighbourliness is a challenge – in the past the land has been fly tipped and attracts anti-social behaviour including motorbikers etc. The resident who has initiated the project sees it very much as an opportunity to address these and other issues and to build social capital in an area of deprivation.
Clare Devereux (Food Matters)
Professor Neil Ravenscroft (School of Environment & Technology)
Dave Murtagh (East Moulsecoomb Tenants Association)
Becky Taylor (Plumpton College)