Eco village needs cash

PUBLISHED: 14:44 31 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:23 24 May 2010

THE group behind a multi-million pound project to turn the former Barrow Gurney Hospital into the country's largest eco village say its bid may be lost - unless vital funds are found. Members of Sustainable Initiative for Barrow Ltd, who have put forward

THE group behind a multi-million pound project to turn the former Barrow Gurney Hospital into the country's largest eco village say its bid may be lost - unless vital funds are found.Members of Sustainable Initiative for Barrow Ltd, who have put forward a £10 million bid for the site, say unless they can secure 10 per cent of the purchase price as a deposit, the bid may collapse.They are now writing to supporters and interested parties wanting to use space on the site asking them to pledge cash towards the purchase of the land.SIB spokesman Gaile Stevens said: "We are going ahead with confirming our bid as we still believe that there are enough people who want to see this happen."We have everything in place for a successful sustainable development, except for one minor detail."Despite many pledges of support and interest in what we are trying achieve on this unique site, this may all come to nothing and the site lost to the wider community if the funds are not available in time."We have offered in excess of £10 million for the freehold of the site and will need to demonstrate that we can pay a 10 per cent deposit when the contract is due to be signed on June 16. We now need to know the extent of investment from interested parties."The 200 acre site is being sold by the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership and has attracted a lot of interest, especially from developers.SIB, made up of businesses, green organisations and individuals, has been working on the scheme for the last two years and put in a bid for the site in January.The scheme will see the creation of a craft village, where skills from woodturning to robotics will be taught, and the creation of the first outdoor theatre in the Bristol area. Eco houses will be built on site and mini festivals and craft fairs held.A hotel, pub with its own on site brewery and a youth hostel for visitors to the site will also be included.An education centre will also be set up offering weekend training courses including thatching, straw bale making and glass blowing.The group has been in talks with the Forest of Avon about maintaining the 85 hectares of woodland at the site.Plans are also in the pipeline in conjunction with Sustrans to extend cyclepaths in the area.

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