Stoke & Staffordshire

Stoke-on-Trent's Bucknall City Farm donates equipment

Equipment from a former council-run farm is to be donated to a centre that helps vulnerable adults and children.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council will give the farming equipment to Sherrats Wood Farm, in Middleton Green, Leigh.

The equipment will be used to help the farm deliver a range of therapeutic and educational activities involving animals and horticulture.

The items have been in storage since City Farm, in Bucknall, closed in March and all the animals were re-homed.

The farm cost £175,00-a-year to run and was closed under measures to help the Labour-led city council make £35.6m savings in 2011-12.

'Better use'

Councillor Janine Bridges said: "The equipment could be put to better use somewhere that can be dedicated towards industrial and educational farming, so that's why we have decided to donate it to Sherrats Wood Farm."

The authority is looking to acquire the land within the farm site not currently in its ownership, and will examine future uses for the area.

However, Ms. Bridges said: "We have to be clear that the farm is no longer in existence as a city council-run service.

"Anyone looking to take over the site as a farm would need to have the relevant expertise and funding in place to run it on a commercial basis.

"If no one can come forward and put a realistic case together, then we would have to look at how best the land could be used by the city council."

She said incorporating the site into the wider Bucknall Park area as public open space is the immediate solution before further plans are made.

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