The Vanson Centre is a former plant nursery which used to be North East Lincolnshire Council’s primary source of bedding plants and trees for its municipal planting and floral displays. Sadly though, a decade of disuse had seen this once vibrant place fall into a semi-derelict state. Green Futures has now taken over this brown-field site, and with the support and hard work of our community has started to transform the site it into an ambitious and exciting environment, which will serve as a centre of production, education and inclusion for the local community.
Teams of local people are now working to develop vegetable gardens, wildlife areas and an orchard amongst other projects, with the intention of bringing the land back to fruitful productivity. The core function of the site will be the production of vegetables, fruit, trees, herbs and other plants and to provide a venue and focus for training and employment opportunities for local people.
Alongside this, Green Futures will explore and develop sustainable solutions to the issues of how to cut consumption of mains power and water, and how to manage and reduce waste. We will develop and demonstrate the use of natural construction techniques and sustainable materials, as well as exploring ways in which everyone can engage with principles of sustainable development. The vision is to see the Vanson Centre become a centre of excellence in sustainable living which can serve as informative, relaxing and inspiring place for people of all ages to visit and get involved.
Now the Vanson Centre is productive, Green Futures will begin marketing our produce that is generated on this site locally, particularly in the neighbouring housing estates. We know the importance of fresh local fruit and vegetables, and this will become even more evident as fuel costs rise and food prices rise. By establishing a vegetable and fruit growing business which trains and employs local people, Green Futures will play its part in creating new jobs for local people, while also generally improving overall quality of life.
We believe that a range of beneficial activities which involve, empower and enable people in the wider community, particularly those who live in areas of social deprivation, will help to improve our collective quality of life. Through simple things like learning how to include more fresh vegetables and fruit in our diets, getting the exercise benefits of taking up vegetable growing and participating in community events, we can greatly improve community cohesion and develop a sustainable platform for a green future.