Camden’s ‘green oasis’ urban garden gets funding boost

An urban garden in an area of north London transformed by major redevelopment can continue its activities for two more years – thanks to new funding.

The Story Garden, situated behind the British Library, offers food growing spaces, gardening sessions, community meals and volunteering opportunities.

Set up in 2019, it will continue for at least two more years after receiving £83,640 funding from City Bridge Trust – the City of London Corporation’s charity funder.

The garden is run by education charity Global Generation, which also supports local Somers Town residents to turn unused areas of housing estates into fertile green spaces.

The neighbourhood has seen dramatic change in recent years with major redevelopment of the area around nearby King’s Cross station and work on the new HS2 rail line from Euston.

City Bridge Trust Chairman Giles Shilson said:

“There can be few areas of London that have changed as much in recent years as King’s Cross, and the danger is that pre-existing communities may feel neglected and left behind.

“The Story Garden is a green oasis in an inner-city area which brings together a really diverse mix of people and fosters a sense of community, camaraderie and neighbourhood pride.”

Founded in 2004, Global Generation is also working with young people and volunteers to set up a new floating barge garden currently moored at Granary Square, King’s Cross.

The City Bridge Trust grant will also enable young people to boost their career prospects by completing an AQA Level 1 qualification in horticulture.

Global Generation Head of Programmes Jemma Pym said:

“The garden gives people opportunities to connect with nature, to come together, experience something different and be part of the community.

“A lot of residents don’t have a garden or balcony but they can come here, get their hands dirty, connect with the natural world and get a feeling of belonging.

“This funding gives us the security of knowing we’re in a really good position for the next two years so we can continue to offer opportunities to the diverse local community in Somers Town.”

More information about Global Generation and the Story Garden is at www.globalgeneration.org.uk

The City of London Corporation’s charity funder, City Bridge Trust, is London’s biggest independent grant giver, awarding grants of over £28 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital – www.citybridgetrust.org.uk

Case study: ‘It’s like a sanctuary here’

Jolly Das, from Somers Town, has been attending the Story Garden with her young family since 2019 to take part in ‘family Saturdays’, community growing and resident-led greening.

She said: “In our community growing bed in the Story Garden, we grow spinach and mustard. All the vegetables we grow are from India and Bangladesh. We use the flowers and seeds too. The seeds we use in our spices when we are cooking curries.

“Coming to the Story Garden gives my children the opportunity to grow and learn about where food comes from. We don’t have any outside space at home, so here is like a sanctuary.

“Because of the skills I have gained from coming to the Story Garden, I’m now taking action in my local community by growing together with my neighbours on an empty space. This makes me feel proud to be a part of.”

Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK –  www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

The City Corporation is the sole trustee of Bridge Houses Estates, a charity founded in 1097 to maintain London Bridge, and Members of its Court of Common Council form the Bridge House Estates Board.

Bridge House Estates is now responsible for maintaining Tower, London, Southwark, Millennium and Blackfriars Bridges, and its grants team, City Bridge Trust – founded in 1995 – awards over £28 million a year to good causes across the capital – www.citybridgetrust.org.uk


Tim Fletcher | Media officer – public services

City of London Corporation

07738 862229 | tim.fletcher@cityoflondon.gov.uk