Growing Success: The impact of Capital Growth on community food growing in London

This report summarises the first phase of the campaign until the end of 2012, and the benefits of Capital Growth to London, its communities and individuals.


Launched in November 2008, Capital Growth was established to increase the amount of land used for growing food in London, and in so doing encourage Londoners to grow their own, gaining and sharing expertise on how to do this. This report summarises the first phase of the campaign until the end of 2012, and the benefits of Capital Growth to London, its communities and individuals.

Now, more than ever, we need to grow more food, closer to where people live, that not only tastes great and is nutritious, but also enhances rather than destroys the environment, and starts to address the need for a secure and trusted food supply in an urban area. Yet demand for space to grow food has risen dramatically in
London, with allotment waiting lists at an all time high. Capital Growth
was developed to help meet this demand, alongside helping Londoners find the land and develop the skills to increase the amount of food grown in the capital.A target was set to create 2,012 new community food growing spaces across London by the end of 2012, London’s Olympic year. To achieve this ambitious target the project set out to:

  • Encourage organisations to make available land and gardening materials for food growing spaces
  • Publicise the project to increase people’s desire to grow food
  • Provide a one-stop shop for growers, pointing them to land, training practical help and advice
  • Create a support network for growers
  • Influence public policies so that land for food growing is provided for the long-term.

Approximately 99,000 people have been involved in community food growing on Capital Growth spaces. By undertaking surveys, monitoring and research Capital Growth has been measuring its impact on London and Londoners and this report shares some of the great stories about how the network is improving the capital. Capital Growth has successfully demonstrated that a co-ordinated approach to community food growing works. Its successes can be seen on many different levels, ranging from influencing policies that affect food growing, to people feeling safer in their neighbourhood.


Growing Success contents

Foreword by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

What is Capital Growth and why was it set up?

  • Why community food growing?
  • Why in the capital?

What we did

Key successes

  • Bringing communities together
    • Involving the whole community
    • Making communities stronger Improving land and our environment
  • A variety of types of land
    • Improving biodiversity and the local environment
    • Influencing policy
  • Enhancing individuals’ quality of life
    • Creating volunteering opportunities
    • Providing learning opportunities
    • Increasing the capacity of diverse organisations
    • Working with London-wide and statutory organisations
    • Supporting local organisations

Next steps

References and useful information

Thanks and acknowledgements

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30/01/2013
Capital Growth

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