Oldham Council’s Green Dividend fund has helped transform a run down and litter strewn area of Coppice.
Residents and schoolchildren have joined forces to show they ‘love where they live’ by creating a community garden where produce and flowers can be grown.
Coppice Primary School decided to carry out the improvements to the area, which is used by parents while waiting to drop off and collect their children, after working with Living Streets – a charity which highlights the benefits of walking.
The school applied to the council for funding and was awarded £2,000 which helped its Eco-Team to start work by extending the existing garden.
Within a very short space of time the area had been given a new look. A growing bench for parents to sit on, two raised flower beds, several tyre beds, signage and a community noticeboard have been installed.
A pear and two apple trees have also been planted.
Local residents have also got involved and helped by levelling and clearing a flower bed opposite and donating pots and plants to the project.
Help and support was also provided by the council’s Green Dividend Ambassador and Community Garden Champions have already started to volunteer their time and are maintaining the garden throughout the school holidays.
Since the refurbishment work was complete there has also been a noticeable reduction in litter and fly-tipping.
Councillor Barbara Brownridge Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Co-operatives, said: “One of Oldham’s strengths is its people, the pride they take in their neighbourhoods and their willingness to pitch in and ‘do their bit’.
“Residents are proud they live here and the work carried out down at Coppice Primary School is a great example of that.
“People of all ages have got involved to transform the area and have made a real difference. We’re glad Green Dividend Funding has helped make this project happen and hope this area will be well maintained for years to come.
“We’ve still got many financial challenges to meet but if public servants, residents and local businesses work together we can all benefit.”
Teacher Karen Shore said: “This is a long term developing project in which the staff, children parents and community of Coppice can get involved.
“Our long term aim is that the community will grow their own produce that they can take home and will then return to plant more of their own, like a ‘give one, get one’ project.
“Staff, children, parents, the mayor, MPs and the local community have worked tirelessly to successfully clean up our area and this has been an amazing team effort, which we are all very proud of.”
In 2015 the local authority launched the Green Dividend Fund – a one-off pot of money supporting residents to do their bit and show they love where they through community gardening and growing projects.
A number of projects have been funded across the borough, helping local communities to come together to make their local area that little bit greener.
Residents, community groups and third sector organisations could apply for funding between £500 and £5,000 to help them deliver ideas and projects that create, improve or make a real difference.