Manchester Urban Diggers and Roma Finance launch new outdoor kitchen


Manchester Urban Diggers (MUD), the non-profit social enterprise dedicated to improving local food systems, has launched a new outdoor kitchen at Platt Fields Market Garden.

The new facility was completed with a £5000 donation from Roma Finance and will now host a variety of community engagement and educational events to support MUD’s ongoing work around food, community and wellbeing.

Platt Fields Market Garden, which is located in Fallowfield in South Manchester, produces and supplies organic vegetables for local restaurants as well as providing space to host an array of activities including a forest school, monthly farmers market, arts and crafts sessions and yoga classes.

MUD also runs a social programme for refugees into the local area, offering hot meals every week and this Easter holidays they will feed 80 school children a day.

The grand opening took place during MUD’s Spring Showcase, a day curated as an introduction to the Market Garden and all it has to offer.

Guests were encouraged to get involved in zine making, yoga, mosaic making, forest school and enjoyed various talks from the experts in the garden including the resident beekeeper.

A formal ribbon cutting ceremony for the kitchen also took place, appropriately with secateurs, and was attended by Sale Sharks players Luke James, Jonny Hill and Ellis Causey.

Attendees were then treated to an amazing vegan lunch, carefully prepared in the brand-new kitchen and BBQ area.

Jo Payne, director at Manchester Urban Diggers, said:

“Launching the outdoor kitchen and seeing everyone enjoying what we have to offer at the Market Garden has been wonderful.

Our mission is always to connect and engage with the local community, and to educate them in the benefits of locally sourced ingredients to their overall wellbeing.

This new addition to our facilities is going to provide us with new ways to achieve this and we are extremely excited to welcome visitors over the coming weeks and months.

We are incredibly grateful for the investment Roma Finance has made to the Platt Fields Market Garden and the practical help they have given us in turning our vision of having an outdoor kitchen into a reality.”

Michael Allison, Commercial Director at Roma Finance, added:

“As a property lender, we thrive on being able to fund developments that drive regeneration and bring communities together.

Working with Manchester Urban Diggers aligns with our work, and our values, and provided us with an opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise for the better of a community hub local to our head office in Manchester.

Roma’s ESG strategy is colleague led and a major focus for the business. Roma has a number of people led committee’s including environment, engagement, diversity and inclusion, and social.

All committees are led by colleagues and make an impact both internally and in the wider community.”


Scott Marshall, managing director and founder also added:

“I am delighted we have been able to make a tangible difference and support such an important cause. Green space and community are essential.

Now, developers are being required to consider purchasing off-site Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) credits if it’s not possible to create the minimum 10% BNG uplift on-site through habitat creation projects.

We’re proud to have helped borrowers to create affordable, environmentally friendly homes.

It is so important for the industry to take this seriously and act upon it in any way possible.”