Opening on 20th March, invitation below

As I write this new addition to Granby isn’t quite open yet, so I feel very privileged to have been shown around. I also feel the full story of the particular place isn’t mine to tell, so I won’t tell it. Not all of it.

But it’s such a beautiful place and such a credit to the people who’ve made it, who’ve seen it all the way through from a sketch, to a vision and now a real thing, that I can’t not show you these photographs of the place, just before it opens. A dream coming true and a particularly lovely addition to the evolving story of Granby 4 Streets.

So here it is, Granby Winter Garden.

The part of the story I can tell you is that when we in the Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust were getting work going on our first ten houses, two of the empty ones in the middle of Cairns Street were in much more trouble than the rest. Roofless for years and with serious structural cracks, they’d have cost much more money than we had to do them up and get people living in them again.

So we did some immediate stuff, like stitching the worst cracks and putting on a temporary roof, then left them for another day. Which arrived when we got nominated for the Turner Prize in summer 2015.

And as a result I was one of the people involved in early discussions with Arts Council England. At which point my part in the winter garden idea ended. Fully engaged, as I was at the time, with our other Community Land Trust houses being turned back into homes.

So here we are nearly four years later, and to the huge credit of the Granby Community and everyone who’s actually helped the Granby Winter Garden has almost arrived. A truly community-led part of what’s already as good a community-led story as you’ll hear anywhere.

And one day I might be able tell you more of this particular part of the Granby story and give all the credits that are no doubt due. But for now, here are the photographs. Isn’t it lovely?

Huge thanks to Hazel Tilley of Granby 4 Streets CLT for showing me round. And well done artist Nina Edge for the chandelier. As well as gardener Andrea Ku for all the work you can see getting the garden going, the winter trees now coming into leaf for the first time.

When the Winter Garden’s finished, which will be soon, it’ll be an artist’s studio for a residencies programme, with a B&B upstairs, as well as a garden and gathering place for the community and for events.

So that’s the story so far. See you at the opening? More details here.

Much more Granby Stories here.

Published by Ronnie Hughes

Writing about life, Liverpool and anything else that interests me. As well as working with others to make the world a fairer and kinder place: http://asenseofplace.com.

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