Allotments in Keighley have been established for more than 100 years. Their requirement arose out of residents having a need for green relief from industrial jobs, living in terraced houses as well as a lack of gardens. Their popularity was considerable and land was allocated on various sites around town. Over recent years however their popularity has declined; with gardens now part of many homes, cheaper food available, other leisure pursuits available, vandalism, and lack of security. Many of the sites are now surrounded by housing and are very much part of the urban fabric.
There is still, however, a core demand for allotments, and this needs to be considered as allotments provision is a statutory duty for all Town Councils to provide.
In 2005 Keighley Town Council took on the running of the Allotment sites numbering 14 from Bradford District Council. A review was not made on allotments at that time, unfortunately it was found during the time the District Council were responsible for the upkeep they went into decline due to lack of investment.
It was noted by the first Allotments Committee that a plan was required to ensure continued improvement and investment. A strategy was to be based on the principle of ensuring existing allotment provision is brought up to an acceptable standard, and that many issues raised by the Committee, including enforcement and design issues, are addressed. The Committee agreed that any funding toward the strategy implementation would have to be met from existing budgets.
Five Year Plan Update
The five year plan was first designed by the allotments committee chair Cllr Bob Horrell in 2005, the reason for this was to enable each subsequent committee to plan its budget to improve year upon year all allotments and bring them into line with government regulations.
To date approximately 90k has been invested in the allotments and some sites have been secured or partly secured with green powder coated 424 welded mesh fencing, this has now been made the standard for all allotments due to its strength and durability. Continued investment in Allotments is part of the councils vision to enhance the wellbeing of residents of our town.