The mayor of Crawley offically declares the glasshouse open, watched by Andrew Short

Historic glasshouse grows into horticultural training programme


Grundon Waste Management has played a key role in an ambitious project to transform an old lean-to glasshouse into a 21st century glasshouse and centre for horticultural training at Tilgate Park in Crawley.

The work, undertaken by environmental charity Groundwork South, was funded with £26,500 from Grundon through the Landfill Communities Fund, and on Monday, August 8, the glasshouse was officially opened by the Mayor of Crawley, Cllr Raj Sharma.

Already, five local unemployed people have begun training and there are plans to offer further horticulture-based traineeships from September.

At the same time, produce being grown in the glasshouse goes straight to the Walled Garden Community Café next door, giving visitors the chance to taste the freshest possible salads and vegetables.

Cllr Sharma called the project a “wonderful example of partnership working between Grundon , Groundwork South, Crawley Borough Council and local volunteers”.

Grundon’s estates director Andrew Short, said: “Given that the glasshouse is in the former kitchen garden for the Tilgate Estate, in many ways this could be seen as the ultimate in recycling. Groundwork South’s project has given life back to a glasshouse which, in years gone by, would have made a major contribution to putting food on the table of those who lived on the estate.

“To have seen it rise again and be used to provide food for the café is a fabulous idea and we hope it will be enjoyed for years to come by Crawley residents both young and old.”

The renovation work came as part of Groundwork South’s mission to improve people’s lives through local places. The glasshouse had been largely unused since the 1950s and the restoration programme included new glass panels, repair of existing brickwork, the installation of an irrigation system, potting benches, shading and raised beds and other equipment. Education boards have also been installed to let people know what’s growing inside.