Green Backyard fundraising appeal wins many hearts

The Green Backyard in Peterborough
The Green Backyard in Peterborough
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Campaigners battling to save a community gardening project in Peterborough say their fight has been backed by hundreds of city people.

Volunteers with the Green Backyard, in London Road, are raising cash in a bid to hold on to the 1.5 acre site.

The land is owned by Peterborough City Council, which has put the site on the market and given buyers until Friday (16 January) to submit bids.

A price tag has not been put on the land but the value is thought to be about £750,000.

Chair of the Green Backyard Rich Hill said: “So far the public appeal for £10 to save a square foot of the Green Backyard has raised close to £14,000 in just seven weeks.

“This equates to hundreds of local people stepping forward in a difficult economic climate to vote with their pocket.

“We’ve identified a possible £1.7 million in available grants from which we would expect to raise at least £350,000, yet we need at least a year to access these funds.

Mr Hill said: “It is within the power of the council to transfer the asset to the Green Backyard.”

Co-founder Sophie Antonelli said: “The bid deadline is Friday and we are working on our submission.

“Our understanding is once the bids have all been submitted and an approximate value gained for the site, the council will enter into negotiations with us and if our bid is successful we will then have extra time to raise the money.”

A council spokesman said: “Considerable interest has been shown in the site and all bids will be opened at the same time on Friday.

“If the Green Backyard is successful a contract will be issued in a matter of weeks.

He added: “The exchange of contracts will take place within six weeks and the transaction will complete shortly thereafter.”

Related: Race to find £750k to save pioneering Green Backyard project, 12 September 2014

More about The Green Backyard.