Official opening of Hazlehead Grove Nursery

An Aberdeen City Council nursery was officially opened yesterday (July 1) for the wider community to use including social enterprises, charities and schools.

Hazlehead Grove Nursery, part of which continues to be used as a depot and a store by the City Council’s environmental services and is also used by its horticultural services, is aimed at being a smart green place to grow people and communities.

The proposals for use of the site are to include:

  • A social enterprise project involving a number of social enterprises that would provide an opportunity to develop life skills and learning opportunities for people. This would be through various activities including plant cultivation and other horticultural related activities for the benefit of the city’s parks and open spaces.
  • An outdoor educational space through the development of an outdoor classroom focusing on the green environment and natural habitat. This facility would be available to all the city schools
  • Local and city-wide community and partnering initiatives which would utilise green and open spaces.
  • Improvement of the council’s horticultural services facilities currently operating from the site.

Aberdeen City Council Deputy Leader Councillor Marie Boulton said: “Hazlehead Nursery has the potential to be a unique project and one that everyone involved in will become very proud of.

“The nursery will make a real difference to people’s lives and I can’t wait to find out what happens at the site in the next few years – I look forward to seeing how people use the site.”

Aberdeen City Council Finance, Policy and Resources Committee Vice-Convener Ross Thomson said: “There has been a real community enthusiasm for this project, from the social enterprise groups and also from schools who will be able to use the space as an outdoor classroom and learn about how plants grow and where food comes from.

“It’s also something that can be accessed by other schools across the city and I can’t wait to see how it progresses as it’s a wonderful project.”

The changes to the nursery came in 2013, when the City Council decided to explore ways of using the site to deliver initiatives involving social enterprises, local schools and the wider community; whilst continuing with the current horticultural operational services.

This is an area which is large enough to accommodate various numbers of groups and projects, offering an opportunity for the City Council to develop people, improve life skills and improve community cohesion.

The next step in the project is to develop the ideas in place and make them a reality and allow for the space to become an active and productive nursery, growing Aberdeen City Council own plants for use across the city, but also for growing people – training, educating and inspiring people to develop their skills and passion for gardening.

It was officially opened today by Aberdeen Lord Provost George Adam with several groups which will use the space at the ceremony including Aberdeen Foyer, Drugs Action, Aberdeen Play Forum, and Hazlehead Primary School.

A total of £100,000 of Common Good funds have been used to get the project going and will be used to upgrade the basic infrastructure and welfare of the site. Paths, access, storage, toilets, security and buildings will be revamped as part of the upgrade.

Money will also be spent to allow the site to be cleared and levelled to create areas of growing space.

There are also greenhouses and poly tunnels at the nursery which will allow the partnerships with social enterprise to blossom and see plant and flower growing a reality.

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