AN interest free loan fromLudlow Town Council is to be offered to an initiative to encourage people with small gardens in Ludlow to slow off their talents.

The small gardens festival encourages gardeners from all over the town to showcase their work.

Angela Simminson, the organiser of the Festival of Small Gardens, said it had been a great success in 2013 and had made a major contribution to community cohesion.

She said it had enabled many gardeners from the less fashionable parts of the town to show off their talents.

In particular it had broken down some of the barriers between people living in different parts of Ludlow.

As an example she stated that when she had initially discussed the idea of involving areas like Sandpits someone living in Mill Street had told her that she would ‘need a body guard’ to go into that part of the town.

“The focus of Ludlow’s Festival of Small Gardens is to foster greater community cohesion in Ludlow using the medium of gardening to help breakdown negative preconceptions about the less affluent parts of the town and to encourage those with less means to take an active part in the town’s activities and to gain a sense of achievement and pride in doing so,” she said in the funding application.

“It is also an opportunity to support local charities and social enterprises, local businesses and artists.”

Town councillor Glen Ginger said that the scheme was clearly hugely worthwhile and successful. Therefore, it would not be appropriate for the council to give a grant to something that was clearly more than capable of standing on its own feet.

But it was agreed to adopt a suggestion from Cllr Rose Jones that a repayable loan of £1,000 is offered if this is needed to meet any ‘up front’ costs.