SKIPTON’S Mayor shared centre stage with Spud the cockerel at an open day at the town’s Middletown Allotments.

The event, held following the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions, marked the opening of a community hub at the allotments site.

Over the last 20 months, the Skipton Middletown Allotments Association (SMAA) has been busy making applications for funding, sponsorship and grants to make the hub possible.

Angie Hayes, a member of the association said it was hoped that the new hub would benefit those interested in the fun and healthy pastimes of gardening, of keeping poultry and the environment.

The hub has been built on a plot of land which has been provided rent-free by the town council.

“Sponsorship, grants and funding from Craven District councillors, Craven Rotary Club, Skipton Mechanics Institute, Mewies solicitors,Merritt and Fryers and Tarn Moor Estates Trust have made a reality of the initial idea mooted amongst SMAA members 20 months ago,” said Angie.

Craven councillor, Skipton ward member, Paul Whitaker, chair of the Tarn Moor Estates Trust, was welcomed by Ann Holmes chair of SMAA, and carried out the cutting of the ribbon, declaring the hub officially open.

Also at the celebration were representatives of all the groups which have supported the project.

Angie said :"It was lovely to welcome Mayor Karen McIntyre as our honoured guest, and our youngest plot holder, Max Bailey, brought along his pet cockerel, Spud, much to everyone’s delight.

“All our guests and visitors settled down to enjoying each other’s company while relaxing with a glass or two and plenty of refreshments.”

She thanked all the allotment holders who provided a ‘wonderful display’ of their produce, and also to Morrisons Supermarket for the raffle prize of a hamper of a full breakfast for a family of four.

In addition, allotment tenant, Andrew Peach, who at last month’s Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate won a first prize in one of the egg classes, donated some of his naturally coloured eggs for the raffle.

Prizes also came from Tesco and from Tessa Demain who donated hand knitted socks.

The association would like to hear from any potential new members keen to explore the benefits of the allotments and the new community hub. To find out more,