VIY launches new programme in Hull

21 November 2023 | All News

We’ll be funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to renovate at least three community spaces in Hull, in partnership with Hull City Council and other VIY partners including Keepmoat Homes.


Boosting pride in place

Our first project in Hull has seen us work in partnership with EMS, a local charity who work with the community to alleviate food and fuel poverty with sustainable solutions, and over 20 local young people to transform a disused allotment on the Orchard Park Estate into a community hub and growing garden for local residents and school students.

The land, now leased by Sirius Academy from the council, had no running water and had been affected by anti-social behaviour. Along with over 20 young people from the academy, all disengaged in mainstream education, we built a raincatcher on top of an existing shipping container to help to cultivate it into a garden to grow produce for local food parcels, along with protected seating for learners and fencing around the area and upcoming orchard to prevent unauthorised entry or vandalism.

Hear the impact of this project from local PCSO, Dawn

An additional classroom unit has been installed on the site, complete with seating and facilities for refreshments, which will be used by the school for extra learning space including classes related to outdoor learning with EMS.

23 students from Sirius Academy, all disengaged in mainstream education and at risk of unemployment, thrived getting hands-on work experience throughout this project right on their own doorstep – a space they’re now proud of and feel a sense of ownership over to grow and look after for the future.

The container was donated by the Hull Citywide Developer Partnership which includes Keepmoat and Strata Homes. They are supporting VIY’s projects in Hull, through co-funding, materials, donations and local colleagues volunteering their time. All paint will be provided by VIY Paint Partner, Dulux.

Our second VIY project has seen us create an outdoor learning and play area for children living in and supported by a local Women’s Centre, who provide a range of holistic services for women and children affected by domestic abuse.

Alex Codd, Assistant Director of Economic Development and Regeneration at Hull City Council and member of Hull’s UK Shared Prosperity Board said: “Hull City Council fully supports this project through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It is great to see the funds being used to turn an underused area into a great outdoor facility where people are able to grow, enjoy fresh air, and get involved in their community. Our green spaces are critical assets in a densely populated city and this scheme is a great example of vacant space being used for the benefit of the local community.”

John Pickles, Community Growing Coordinator at EMS Ltd, who will support this new site, said: 

“VIY have brought in their skills and expertise in construction to help turn some of the wish-list proposals for this site into concrete reality. The key elements that they have built give the site a much greater chance of long-term sustainability.”

Mark Burley, Social Value and Partnership Manager for Keepmoat Homes and the Hull Citywide Developer Partnership said: “Whilst we do not have any new housing developments in Orchard Park it is important that we support projects like this in the city, we have been a long-standing partner with VIY and EMS whom have been working on this project. Improving mental wellbeing of young people via access to green health is so important and that is why we wanted to get involved.”


About the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit