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Residents of Priorswood in Taunton will be among the first to experience a new community garden being created to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this summer, following a successful bid by the North Taunton Partnership for grant funding.

St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, has awarded the local charity £13,000 to support the community garden project that will be opened to the public on Saturday, 2 June with an official unveiling ceremony. 

The grant from St. Modwen, who is developing the £270 million Firepool scheme and the £30 million Langford Mead scheme both in Taunton, is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to improving the communities and environments where it works. The project has also been supported by a further £10,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

The garden adjacent to the Priorswood Community Centre has been designed by local landscape architect Steve Swan of Swan Paul Partnership to include communal seating areas, various planting schemes and some community art installations. Family-owned company, Parsons Landscapes in Taunton, has been awarded the contract to carry out the work which will start later this month.

The project is ultimately aimed at creating more open space for the local community while improving disabled access to the local shops. The project has been organised by the North Taunton Partnership with a view to involving local residents in helping to maintain the garden long-term.

Ian Guy, Senior Development Manager for St. Modwen, said: “We are delighted to be able to support such a great community project here in Taunton.

“St. Modwen is committed to the Taunton area where we are currently developing two major combined residential and commercial schemes. We have successfully worked in Taunton on bringing forward the development at Langford Mead over many years and our flagship scheme at Firepool, where we are also well underway with work, which will eventually create 4,000 jobs locally and up to 400 homes as well as new leisure and retail facilities.

“Creating sustainable communities is at the heart of what we do and we look forward to seeing the garden open in time for the celebrations and hope it will make a lasting difference to the community.”

Sue Kilbey, Chairman of the North Taunton Partnership, said: “The garden is something we have been planning in the area for the past year and it is fantastic that we are at the construction stage. We would like to thank St. Modwen and the Big Lottery Fund for helping us to realise our project.

“Priorswood is a deprived community in Taunton and a garden of this nature will bring the community closer together and provide much needed outdoor space for many residents living in apartment blocks locally.

“We are responsible for overseeing the delivery of the project and the ongoing maintenance. We are forming a Gardening Club which is open to local people of any age who would like to be involved in maintaining the garden beyond the celebrations.”