A SURGE in ‘growing it alone’ is set to lead to the creation of two new allotment sites in Rossendale – and a well-established plot becom- ing self-sufficient.

Supporters of projects at Limy Valley in Loveclough and Stacksteads’ Riverside Park are in line to see dozens of new strips established.

And the Free Lane Allotment Society in Helmshore is about to become self-managing, senior councillors have been told.

Stuart Sugarman, the borough council’s business director, said in an executive report: “Recent years have seen a revival in ‘growing your own’ in line with current thinking on healthy eating, organic food and exercise.”

The leaders of the association at Free Lane, which boasts 52 plots, have also been encouraged to undertake talks with allotment holders at Prinny Hill and Kirk Hill in nearby Haslingden, with a view to them joining the larger collective.

Eighteen allotments would be marked out at Stacksteads, after a four-year battle, for land off Blackwood Road, if the borough council’s cabinet agrees tomorrow, and another will be created at Limey Valley.

This year £5,000 has been allocated to enable the authority to work with organisations on developing open spaces and councillors will be asked to endorse a plan to share this between the three organisations, so applications for external grants can be made.

Mr Sugarman added: “The allotment societies will use the rental income from allotment holders to maintain and develop the site and pay bills.

They may also charge an additional membership fee.”