Levy locals may have noticed some exciting developments happening in the train station car park where we are based – for those that haven’t seen it, see above – our container has been painted as part of a mural project delivered in conjunction with Levenshulme Young Project and Unity Arts. Well, that is just the beginning of the beautification because…
We are delighted to announce today that we, in partnership with Levenshulme District Centre Partnership (Levenshulme’s “Town Team”) and Incredible Edible Levenshulme, have been awarded funding from Manchester City Council’s Clean City initiative to undertake a large project on and around Farmside Place car park in Levenshulme.
The project will be spearheaded by Brenda Smith, who is a director of Levenshulme Market and a board member of Incredible Edible Levenshulme, as well as being the co-owner of Bud Garden Centre – a garden centre with sustainable aims situated on the border of Levenshulme and Burnage. Brenda has been instrumental in securing the funding for the project too, so we’re in very capable hands!
The project has total funding of just over £25k from Clean City, plus additional contributions from Levenshulme Market CIC and Levenshulme District Centre Partnership and will be split across three sites, with several mini-projects taking place in each:
Farmside Pace (that’s the station car park to you and me – where the market is held):
- The existing verges on the South and West sides of the car park (where the Market is sited) will be cleared and planting installed – this will include a mini-orchard space and raised and stepped planters to the steep (and currently overgrown) verge sloping up towards the station. These spaces will be used to grow vegetables, fruits and flowers and will be maintained by Incredible Edible and the Market CIC.
- Levenshulme’s first “green roof” in a public space will be installed on the roof of the Market’s shipping container – this will increase biodiversity and attract pollinating insects to aid in the fertilization of flowers on the trees in the nearby mini orchard. The project will also include guttering around the edge of the container and water butt to collect rainwater to use on the orchard and raised beds.
- Permanent recycling bins will be installed to promote and encourage recycling both on market and non-market days. The market will take responsibility or bin emptying and are planning to use Emerge Recycling for this purpose.
- Reusable mugs made from recycled plastic will be produced for market shoppers to use (and return, with deposit) for hot drinks sold on the market.
- Bike parking will be installed on the site, which will also double as planters for even more fruit and veg – see here for an image of something similar.
- Arch signage and notice boards will be erected the entrances at Albert Road and at Station View (this bit down the side of Edward Mellor).
The street with no name (the cobbled road outside the entrance to Levenshulme Station, which really does have no name!)
- The area will be generally cleaned, weeded, jet washed and walls painted where possible (there is an issue with water seepage from the brick structure so this may not be possible in all the places where it would seem to be!)
- Permanent planters will be installed adjacent to the railway station wall and planted with small trees, bamboo and climbers.
- Further bike parking and recycling facilities will be installed.
The village green (the turf and paving area on the corner of Stockport Road and Chapel St):
- Spring flower bulbs planted on the green area – including mini narcissi, crocuses and snow drops.
- The shrubs at the back of the green will also be tidied up, pruned and cleared of rubbish.
- Incredible Edible Levenshulme will maintain this area, with support from Levenshulme Market.
- The disused planter frames on the north side wall will be repurposed and filled with local information and photo images.
- Additionally new planters will be installed along the A6, with maintenance for these managed between Incredible Edible Levenshulme, Levenshulme Market and local traders.
Network Rail have also been involved in this application and have granted permission for the works listed to be carried out on any land they own and advised that the main bridge structure in Levenshulme (on Albert Road) is proposed for major maintenance work potentially in 2018/19 and not appropriate for major works at this time. However, in the meantime they have raised a work item for the removal of the vegetation, concrete repairs, some brick repairs and jet washing of the brickwork facings to be carried out within the next 12months.
What a lotta green, right?!
We are so very excited to start the projects and start seeing some real improvements to the look and feel, not just of our site but of some key areas in the district centre and would like to thank Incredible Edible Levenshulme, the Levenshulme District Centre Partnership, South Manchester Regeneration, Network Rail and – in particular – Brenda Smith for their help and hard work in developing the bid. Now let’s get our hands dirty!
ON WHICH NOTE! We will be getting down and dirty with a lot of this stuff and we would be delighted if any community minded souls wanted to volunteer to help out digging, sewing, cleaning…we will try and arrange working days on market days so that we can look doe-y eyed at traders until they give you a little something to keep your energy up and mask sure the crowds at the market can see how hard you’re working and give you NUFF RESPECT. If you’re interested please contact Incredible Edible via their Facebook page.
This sounds great; a lovely plan, a wonderful idea and huge congratulations on getting the funding. It must have taken vision and a heck of a lot of work, and for that I thank and applaud you.
I’m afraid there is a “but”.
The only issue I’d take with it is that those bike planters aren’t up to standard at all. I’ve seen them at Bud, and they are 100% style over substance, and seem to have been designed by gardeners for gardeners. They are designed primarily with decoration in mind and, at best, are only designed for casual, occasional use, or for “home and garden” (the description practically says as much); they are absolutely not suitable for the kind of environment and use the market will generate. They aren’t fixed into the ground; they are flimsy and aren’t secure enough to leave a bike for any amount of time, or hardy enough to withstand rigorous use; they take up a lot of space, and yet can only hold 2 bikes each (you’ll need to install half a dozen just to handle the current low-level of bike traffic, without even planning for an increase once you offer cycle parking). Perhaps most importantly: the limited rail space in the design doesn’t create enough options for a wide variety of bikes to be secured in any meaningful way.
At £155 each, you should be looking to spend that money on proper cycle provision, because this is just a waste; it’s only going to cause you headaches further down the line, when the planters are in tatters and people are complaining about their bike wheels getting nicked when they visit your market. Cycle theft is absolutely endemic in Manchester, and as a city, we suffer not only from opportunistic thefts, but also from highly targeted, organised crime. All types of cycle crime are brazenly committed on a daily basis, in broad daylight in highly populous areas. If you promote cycle throughput by providing parking, but the facilities you provide are sub-standard, you risk becoming an incubator for crime, rather than a positive influence on the area; that doesn’t help anyone – not least the reputation of the market.
Thanks, Arthur for your comments – I am going to forward them on to the project team to see if they can make any suggestions – we were aware that they would need to be concreted in to make them more secure but not the other issues you mention so it will require some further thought, I think! Thank you.
Hi Arthur – we forwarded you concerns onto the manufacturer and this is how they replied:
PlantLocks are very robust.
This is probably best and simply illustrated if you watch the security test that’s on the website (Front Yard Company – Market Stall – PlantLock), but also directly on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy-YYDAHcRU).
They are for secure bike parking. (The biggest weakness is either cyclist’s poor quality locks or locking up your bicycle inadequately; this is why we apply (optional) bikelocking decals for PlantLocks in public use, that encourage using two locks and good locking practice.
Below is what we’ve written on the website:
PlantLock constitutes an “immovable object” to lock bicycles to, weighing 75+kg when planted up.
PlantLock requires minimum maintenance, being made from robust, durable materials. The locking bar is made from boron steel, case-hardened and tempered, to achieve robustness beyond most commercially available bicycle locks. Each PlantLock accommodates 2 bicycles.
PlantLock accommodates most bicycle types on the market. Bicycle frame and both wheels can be secured to the bar with the owner’s existing locks – ideally two quality locks of different types, as recommended by SoldSecure.
You can secure PlantLocks to the ground; there are holes in the base for this. Having said that, the majority of PlantLocks in use, only use the sheer filled weight of the planter to act as the anchor. But your application may well be suitable for ground fixing, which is simple with rawlbolts or similar, depending on the ground conditions.
The locking bars height is particular to locking both front and back wheels and bike frame to the locking bar. and accommodate most bicycle types on the market.
There are now some thousands of PlantLocks in use, around the country, with a predominance in cities and urban settings. Besides the planting being a significant reason for using them, they are one of the few proper cycle parking products that don’t require concreting into the ground, which means they don’t require planning/landowners permission and can be relocated as/when necessary.