Bellway donation to help allotment society in Bedworth pay for new entrance gates

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A Bedworth housebuilder has donated £500 to help fund the installation of new gates at Smorrall Lane Community Allotments.

Bellway West Midlands, which is building 169 new homes at Astley Fields, off Astley Lane, made the contribution to help the group towards its £2,000 target for the new gates.

The Smorrall Lane Community Allotment Society committee applied for a grant from Warwickshire County Council for new entrance gates after being targeted in two vandalism attacks which saw property damaged and fencing smashed.

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The council gave the group a £1,000 grant leaving it to find another £1,000 to pay for a new set of gates. The bespoke metal gates, which have been ordered, open in the middle and are nine feet long and eight feet high.

Bellway Sales Advisor Shirley Nichol with members from the Smorrall Lane Community Allotment SocietyBellway Sales Advisor Shirley Nichol with members from the Smorrall Lane Community Allotment Society
Bellway Sales Advisor Shirley Nichol with members from the Smorrall Lane Community Allotment Society

Bellway arranged a welcome event at Astley Fields when sales advisor Shirley Nichol handed over a £500 cheque to Robin Wilson and George McCurley, secretary and treasurer at the society.

Lee Walker, Chairman of the Smorrall Lane Community Allotments Society, said: “We were initially disappointed to be £1,000 short of the total which would enable us to buy a new set of gates and contacted Bellway to see if they could help. Bellway proved to be a caring local company and raised our spirits and our total, leaving us confident we can find the remaining £500.

“The new gates will represent a massive improvement in two ways. Firstly, they are higher than the old gates and should present a better deterrent to vandals and secondly, they will be much more accessible to our members. A lot of our members are elderly and some have mobility issues, so having a set of gates that opens in the middle rather than one long, very heavy gate will make it easier for them to enter the site.

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“It was very kind of Bellway to invite our members along to the sales office at Astley Fields, where they put on free drinks and treats. I was not able to make it as it was my birthday and I had a prior arrangement but it was a lovely gesture to engage with our society members and their families at the development, which is just round the corner from our allotments.”

The Smorrall Lane Community Allotments Society was established 45 years ago and has 55 members aged between 20 and 82. The group invites school trips to the allotments and makes donations of produce to Bedworth Foodbank.

Marie Richards, Sales Director for Bellway West Midlands, said: “When we were approached by Lee, we were more than happy to donate £500 to help get the society get closer to their total of £2,000.

“At Bellway, our philosophy as a socially responsible developer is to become part of the community in the places where we build new homes and to have a positive impact. Forming a relationship with groups like Smorrall Lane Community Allotments Society is how we put this ethos into practice. It was great to meet some of the members when we invited them to the development to hand over the cheque.

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“These allotments are a valuable resource for the local community and a place where people of all ages can socialise as well as getting fresh air and exercise and growing their own food. It is sad to hear that vandals have struck at the allotments and we hope the new gates will help protect the site in future.”

For more information about the new homes at Astley Fields, visit or call the sales team on 024 7728 2066.