Tower block tenants have room to grow
Published by James Allan for Salix Homes in Housing and also in Communities, Environment
Barbara Harper and Ian Birt water the plants in their new greenhouse while John Coles looks on.
Residents living in one of Salford’s most famous tower blocks now have room to grow.
To mark the end of a £3.5 million refurbishment scheme at Nine Acre Court in Ordsall, social housing provider Salix Homes and contractors Seddon Construction have built a greenhouse for tenants so they can grow their own flowers and vegetables.
Tenants bought the greenhouse last year after receiving a £900 grant through Salix Homes’ Your Salix, Your Say fund, which gives community groups and organisations the chance to bid for between £50 and £5,000 to help finance worthwhile projects that will help improve the area where they live.
Now the major refurbishment programme has been completed, contractors from Seddon Construction were delighted to put up the greenhouse for the residents, who have set up a gardening club.
Nine Acre resident Barbara Harper, who is also chair of the Salix Homes Customer Senate, said: “There’s a group of us who enjoy maintaining the grounds at Nine Acre, we put up hanging baskets and plants flowers to keep everywhere looking nice.
“Now we’ve got the greenhouse we can grow our own plants from scratch instead of having to go out and spend money. A few of the residents have also said they want to grow their own vegetables and we are going to grow plants for St Clements Church, which is just nearby.”
The iconic Nine Acre Court is said to have inspired legendary Manchester musician Tim Burgess of the Charlatans who wrote popular single Nine Acre Court in honour of the high rise block where he is believed to have enjoyed many a party in his younger years.
The 18-storey building has recently undergone a dramatic transformation as part of a wider £25 million regeneration project in the area.
Externally the tower block, which stands at 50 metres tall and was built in 1972, has been completely rendered and painted, totally transforming the Salford skyline.
Internal work includes new kitchens, bathrooms, heating systems and complete rewiring of each of the 139 flats.
Sue Sutton, director of customer and neighbourhood services at Salix Homes, said: “We were thrilled to work alongside our contractors Seddon to provide the residents of Nine Acre Court with their own greenhouse.
“Nine Acre Court has been completely transformed as part of our Decent Homes improvement programme, so we hope the tenants will be able to use the greenhouse to grow their own flowers to help keep Nine Acre looking fantastic.”