Sadiq Khan donates £6,000 to fundraiser by King's Cross community garden The Calthorpe Project
PUBLISHED: 14:33 26 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:33 26 October 2018
A community centre and garden near King's Cross has been granted £6,000 by Sadiq Khan to pay for a new kitchen and fund courses on sustainability.
The Calthorpe Project received the money through the mayor of London’s Crowdfund London programme.
The key aims of the centre are to maintain green space, develop the skills of local people and improve the social conditions of those living in the neighbourhood.
They have occupied the site on Gray’s Inn Road since 1984. The council had planned to sell the land for development but were persuaded to keep it public following a campaign.
Mayoral funding will contribute to a wider fundraiser that hopes to raise £14,500 for the project. This will cover the building of a new sustainably-powered community shop, which will sell products made by course participants and local artisans.
The money will also go towards upgrading the community kitchen with a new cooker and freezer and help expand the range of courses the centre offers.
Proposed courses will cover topics such as upcycling, food preservation, urban agriculture, cooking and building sustainable enterprises.
Crowdfund London has pledged £590,500 to 26 projects across London. Supported by crowdfunding website Spacehive and backed by the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), the scheme aims to encourage initiatives that improve local areas around the capital.
Last night, the Calthorpe Project attended a Pitch and Pledge event hosted at City Hall, where they had the chance to pitch their project to an audience of potential backers.
“We’ve heard that we might be getting further pledges from organisations involved but that hasn’t been confirmed.” Louis Gates, the centre’s director, told the Gazette.
There is uncertainty ahead for the Calthorpe Project with a large development planned next door. UCL are building a new dementia research centre. Louise fears this “will make a lot of difference to us over the coming years.”
“We just hope to keep our services running with a big building site next door and bringing in new people.”
“There are a lot of older people in this area living on their own, who are difficult to access. We’re trying all different ways to get people interested and getting involved. It’s all to do with social interaction, positive well being and just being part of the community.”