Incredible turnout for Middlesbrough community food gathering

Middlesbrough’s first community food gathering recently took place at the Resource Centre – bringing together everyone with an interest in local food, including growers, producers, retailers and consumers.

The day-long event aimed to strengthen the movement for more sustainable and fairer food which has been building for a number of years within Middlesbrough, and involved a broad range of  people who work within or have an interest in community led food projects (growing, cooking, selling food or eating), to improve the local food system through a more joined up approach and to discuss some new and exciting ideas that people can get involved in.

Guests were introduced to Incredible Edible, a national movement whose vision is to create kind, confident and connected communities through the power of food.  The event marked the launch of Incredible Edible Middlesbrough which will enable individuals and groups to work together under a united banner with the aim of developing stronger networks and links between all the activities which are going on in the area.  

The event introduced the organising group for Incredible Edible Middlesbrough – Liz, a chef, Josh, a coffee shop owner, food activists Laurissa and Catherine and Julian, a local cider maker, together with the North East’s Incredible Edible Network Regional Facilitator, Joe Dunne who also leads the Middlesbrough Food Partnership in his role at Middlesbrough Environment City. 

To kickstart proceedings, Pam Warhurst, founder of the Incredible Edible movement gave an inspirational talk to the 50 plus guests in attendance.  This was followed by a video showing the story of the Kindling Trust based in Manchester and a talk from Dave Laing from the Clucking Pig.  He told the story of his food business which takes eggs from ex-battery hens with local meat, including pheasants shot on game estates that would otherwise be wasted, to make scotch eggs which the Royal Family have enjoyed. 

During the practical part of the itinerary guests heard from the organising group about the projects that have already been identified as priorities and were encouraged to discuss ideas for making them work.  The four projects that are being developed are;

1. A surplus produce kitchen, cooking spare food into saleable products for all to share;

2. A surplus food gleaning group, collecting and redistributing surplus crops from farmers and growers;

3. A producers’ co-operative, a group to support people making and growing food products and selling them;

4. A skills and asset register, where talents and resources can be logged to share, helping food learning and education.

Catherine Howell, a local food activist who runs a number of growing projects across Middlesbrough, including a gardening club which grows produce in the Resource Centre’s gardens as well as at other venues, said: “There’s such a lot of good work going on already across Middlesbrough to promote local food, however the launch of Incredible Edible will bring even more individuals and groups on board and will help everyone involved to work together more effectively to improve our local food system.”

The event took place in the Resource Centre’s Ford Hall and organisers made use of the centre’s large fully-kitted kitchen to cook up a meal for the guests made of local food which had been reclaimed from going to waste.

Angie Kelly, centre manager at the Resource Centre, said: “We were delighted to host the Middlesbrough community food gathering and the launch of Incredible Edible Middlesbrough.  Our large conference hall and adjacent kitchen are ideal for this type of event.

“We’re proud to play a part of the local food movement by supporting groups with access to our gardens to grow a range of produce and we hope Incredible Edible Middlesbrough is a huge success.”

For further information about Growing Middlesbrough visit

For further information about the Resource Centre contact the team on 01642 255 001 or email