From the beginning of the nineteenth century the site of the Calthorpe Project community garden had predominantly been leased to Thomas Cubitt, an eminent builder responsible for a substantial part of the construction in London.
During the 1960’s the land was purchased by the Lyon Group who had planning permission for a 70,000 square foot office development. However they went bankrupt just after they had put the office foundations on site, so Camden acquired the land. In 1980 they prepared to sell the land for offices, based on the previous outdated planning permission.
Local residents were concerned about the impact on their lives of such a large development on their doorstep and there followed a local campaign which included petitions, lobbying councilors and sending a delegation to Camden Council. The communities efforts were rewarded and in June 1983 Camden allocated money to develop the site for gardens, play space and under fives activities for the residents of Kings Cross. In 1984 the Calthorpe Project became a charity and a company limited by guarantee.
What we do
Overall aim – To provide a community centre and garden which will enable local people to improve their quality of life.
- To develop a volunteering programme including horticultural training & work placements
- To provide sustainable food growing space and programmes of environmental education
- To provide supervised activities for children aged 0-14 and their families
- To encourage the integration of diverse cultures
- To provide positive leisure activities through sport and community classes
People from all cultural and diverse backgrounds participate and enrich our activities. Our volunteer and training programme helps people learn new skills, provides opportunity for social interaction and outdoor exercise as well as offering horticultural training for adults with learning difficulties. Environmental and food growing sessions encourage and develop awareness of organic methods and composting. Bangladeshi women and older people as well as families participate growing their own food. Our 5-a-side futsal pitch provides programmes to improve health and well-being for young people as well as generating vital revenue from hiring. We provide respite from over crowded housing in our Early Years drop in and weekend play provision for children.
Growth and Change: a documentary by Ruth Cebrian
Click on the link to watch a 25 minute video made by the London City Farms & Community Gardens Association https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHGYWixlB80