A run-down piece of land in Wetherby that was a target for anti-social behaviour has been reopened as an urban garden.
The new Freemans Way Community Space was officially unveiled by Coun Alan Lamb, Mayor of Wetherby, joined by members of the Hallfield Residents’ Association and local children, who helped complete the scheme by planting crocus bulbs.
Improvements include the installation of an oak timber framed seating structure, a bespoke steel entrance feature and the planting of semi-mature trees and wildflowers.
Attractive fencing has also been introduced to create a safer area for children to play.
The site now also forms the entrance to the Thorp Arch to Wetherby cycleway and is an ideal resting point for walkers and cyclists continuing through Wetherby towards the town centre and elsewhere.
Coun Lamb, said: “.I’d like to pay tribute to the hard work of the Hallfield Residents’ Association in helping to make this possible, particularly Heather de la Hoyde, who was the inspiration behind the scheme.
“It is such a shame that Heather, who recently passed away, did not live to see the transformation of this run-down, neglected piece of land into what it is now an attractive space for people to enjoy.
“I’m sure she would have been delighted to see many people using this new facility.”
The development was made possible with £50,000 from the Big Lottery Community Spaces programme, with additional funding from East North East Homes Leeds Outer NE Area Panel and Leeds City Council’s Project Support Fund.
It was designed and project managed by landscape architects from the environmental charity Groundwork Leeds.
Kathy Page, treasurer of the residents’ association, said: “It is hoped that the area will be used by cyclists and walkers as well as those living nearby.”
The project was part of the Community Spaces scheme, a £57.5 million open grants programme that helps community groups create or improve green and open spaces.