NEARLY £10,000 has been given to a Kidderminster community group to kick-start a food project in one of the town’s most deprived areas.

The Friends of St George’s Park have been awarded a grant of more than £9,000 by the People’s Health Trust to get its Let’s Eat the Park (LEAP) programme off the ground, at the Horsefair site.

The friends group is now seeking other people interested in volunteering to take the LEAP project forward beyond the park and into the local area.

Group chairman Carol O’Brien said: “We are very excited by the project. We are hoping to use unproductive land in the local area to plant with edible plants and flowers. Over the past couple of years the Friends of St George’s Park have agreed with partners Wyre Forest District Council to plant apple, pear, cherry and damson trees in the park.”The friends have planted raspberries, strawberries, red currants, garlic and chives in St George’s Park.

One of the project’s organisers, Spike Betterton, friends group secretary, said: “This really is a leap beyond the confines of the park into the wider Horsefair community.

“LEAP will provide volunteering opportunities to people of all ages and abilities to create community gardens and micro-allotments.”

The secretary said the Friends hoped LEAP would make the Horsefair a “greener, nicer, healthier place”.

LEAP organisers are also planning to provide information on harvesting, preparing and cooking produce.