Muirhouse community garden awards triumph

The transformation of a derelict patch of land into a thriving community garden has won a national award.

The North Edinburgh Grows garden in Muirhouse came top in the Creative Regeneration category of the SURF Awards.

Attached to the North Edinburgh Arts Centre, fruit and vegetables grown in the space are used in the cafe, while community groups can tend their own plots, children can use the play area and visitors can sit and enjoy the space.

The SURF Awards are delivered each year by SURF, an independent network of regeneration organisations, in partnership with the Scottish Government. The purpose is to highlight, celebrate and share innovation in initiatives designed to address social and economic challenges.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Transport and Environment Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, and North Edinburgh Arts board member, said: “This is a fantastic achievement, congratulations to everyone who has been involved in this project. The garden is a wonderful space and has transformed a previously unloved area.

“The council is committed to supporting local communities, enhancing quality of life and striving to improve rundown areas of the city.”

Kate Wimpress, Director of North Edinburgh Arts, said: “We are delighted to receive the SURF Creative Regeneration award on behalf of everyone that has been involved so far. Thanks must go to the Big Lottery Fund, Anta Architects, Acorn Contracts, the garden team and, most importantly, local residents and community groups who have worked so hard over the past year to make the garden their own.

“It has only been officially open since June but so much has happened in that short space of time. This beautiful, creative and productive space has encouraged many more people of all ages to use NEA, and changed the way people think about the venue.”

Janet Archer, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland, and sponsor of the ‘Creative Regeneration’ category, said: “Congratulations to everyone at North Edinburgh Arts on winning this award. The awards offer a tremendous opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of places which have put creativity at the heart of their communities, as is testament to this year’s winner and nominees.”

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