A charity has come up smelling of roses – after getting £2,000 worth of growing equipment from a huge cannabis factory.
Slung Low, in Holbeck, was given dozens of bags of fertiliser along with other gardening goodies after police raided the 1,000-plant cannabis farm that was being run from a nearby industrial unit.
The outdoor theatrical arts organisation has an allotment at its Holbeck Urban Ballroom (HUB) site that it uses to grow fruit and vegetables for audiences to eat during performances.
Artistic director Alan Lane said: “This will be a huge help. We rely on fundraising and this will save us a lot of money.”
He added that although the charity’s base is a matter of feet from the industrial unit, there was no sign of what it was being used for.
“We never noticed anything – no-one coming or going, no smell,” he said. “We have public performances every week and no-one ever saw anything out of the ordinary, it was a real surprise to find out what had been going on.”
As reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post, officers from City Neighbourhood Policing Team raided the Bath Road cannabis factory after PCSOs Rachel Kendal and Kirsty Hume noticed a pungent smell while on patrol.
They found plants with an estimated potential street value of £500,000 along with a sophisticated growing system.
A 46-year-old man who was later found hiding in a wall cavity was arrested on suspicion of running the operation, but police believe he may have been forced to work there by an organised gang.
Inspector Andy Berriman said the fertiliser and equipment would have been dumped. “It’s much better that it goes to a good cause than ending up in a skip,” he said.