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£123k cash injection for city farm’s educational work

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London’s second oldest city farm has received £123,600 of funding to boost its educational work with schools.

City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, awarded the money to Freightliners City Farm, in Islington.

The grant will pay for a Farm Development Manager to run new local education and community projects.

The farm already hosts around 45,000 visits a year including pupils from local schools. Its diverse range of animals include goats, sheep, cows and Kunekune pigs.

Backed by 60 volunteers, the new post will also manage the community café and lead on site improvements like transforming its ornamental gardens.

Freightliners City Farm has been operating for 40 years on its site in Paradise Park.

The charity provides a safe haven for local residents and communities in a densely populated part of London.

The farm gives local children the chance to see farm animals up close in real life – and classes and workshops are run on spinning and weaving, learning about bee keeping and composting.

Alison Gowman, Chair of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, commented:

“The farm is extremely popular with local residents, families and schools, with such a wide range of outdoor activities on offer in a dense urban space.

“It is clear this new role will be crucial to the farm’s development and long-term future. Our funding will provide a great opportunity to boost the charity’s educational programmes and to enhance the visitor experience.

“City Bridge Trust is committed to making London a better place to work and live.”

Liz McAllister, of Freightliners City Farm, said:

“Not only does the grant support the farm’s aim to provide a free and open access green space for our local community, but it will enable us to manage a range of activities and programmes which bring our diverse community together.

“At 40 years old, many of our buildings and spaces are in need of a fairly hefty revamp. This new role will mean the farm can closely involve volunteers and wider community as we build new projects.

“It will help to improve the site and facilities for visitors now and into the future as well as providing new crucial opportunities for learning and skills development.”

City Bridge Trust is the funding arm of the City of London Corporation’s charity, Bridge House Estates. It is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital.

The Trust has awarded around 7,900 grants totalling over £390 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the City Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.

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