Fairlands Farm is a registered Asset of Community Value of historical value. It is in a state of significant disrepair. We intend to restore it to the highest standard, providing opportunity for young people to learn skills in historical building works and aim to provide a resource hub for local educational and community groups, by creating a city farm for the 21st century that acknowledges the past and looks to the future, inspires young minds, supports creativity and crafts, and delivers a hands on experience in horticultural practices, to impart and share knowledge of farming to support the industry. As a farm centred in Stevenage's Fairlands Valley we want to encourage interaction between city, town and rural communities by providing a living and diverse cultural centre that can be used simultaneously by groups with different interests.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Stevenage is Britain's first New Town. As such it has a unique place in the country's history. The former dairy farm was once part of the Lytton estate (now Lytton-Cobold), which includes Knebworth House, and it provided produce to residents and builders of Stevenage New Town, before the fields and barns were forced to make way for housing and leisure facilities. The generations who remember the working farm recall scrumping the farm's orchard and Stanley Marriott, the last active farmer, married Sybil, a local school headmaster's secretary for 25 years. There is currently no farm offering within the town's boundaries, but the farm has delivered resource, in supporting the people and education of people who have staffed industries in the town which have reached astromical heights - Mars Rover was built here. The project is a great idea because it will improve the economy of the town, by being an attractive living heritage site that respects its past and reaches to the future.
Steps to get it done:
A broad spectrum of local residents have been consulted on their views about the site and have indicated their approval for our vision, both on-line and in public consultations that have been organised. We have support from local councillors and community leaders, who feel our vision fits with the local strategy to tackle health and educational inequality. As a newly formed organisation we seek first to have our charity registered with the charities commission and are holding a fundraising film screening that showcases the New Town and aspirations of its residents in the 60s. We intend to build on this 20th Century heritage and use the farmhouse as a focal point to continue to enhance our local offering, reaching out beyond traditional boundaries with creative and innovative ideas. The projects cost are based on RICS report provided by the local Council - a condition survey report on the buildings and an appendix breakdown of estimated costs - uploaded at 1st item on the costs list.
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