New lease of life for Richmond Gardens, Soho Hill, Hockley

361hf 09a community garden located on Soho Hill in Hockley will be given a new lease of life. Richmond Gardens has been leased by Ruskin Mill Trust as part of the New Standard Works project in the Jewellery Quarter. The gardens will provide valuable outdoor teaching spaces as well as an opportunity for students to learn about growing food and healthy nutrition.

The New Standard Works, located on Vittoria Street, is undergoing extensive renovation and part of the building will be ready to welcome students from September this year.
Elisabeth Johnson, Head of Operations for the project said: “We are so pleased that we have been able to lease Richmond Gardens. It is a beautiful space and we want to use it for the students but also open it up to the local community again. The students from Argent College will need outdoor space and Richmond Gardens will provide an area for them to work outdoors, grow, and create.

We also want the gardens to be accessible to the local community, perhaps through workshops and family activity days. We would like to know how the local community would like to use it and see what we can offer.”

The site has a lot of strong infrastructure, but has become overgrown. Fortunately, Speller Metcalfe, the contractors for the New Standard Works, have offered to lend a hand getting the site cleared and ready for the students. Steve Budding, Site Manager said: “It’s great that we are able to help to restore this garden.

The team working on the New Standard Works can use their skills and time to help to renovate the gardens, paint the gates, repair fences etc. It is a great way to get involved in the community.”

Work on clearing the site will start over the next few weeks. Ruskin Mill Trust is looking to appoint a tutor to then take responsibility of the gardens and work with students from September. The gardens will be used to grow vegetables and fruit to be used in the new college.

For more information regarding the New Standard Works project, Argent College or Richmond Gardens, please email info@argentcollege.rmt.org

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