Chyan Cultural Centre continues to grow thanks to Co-op funding

The Chyan Cultural Centre is a community-led organisation that aims to teach people about permaculture and organic farming. It is one of the 4,500 causes across the UK receiving a share of £15m raised by Co-op Members.

The funding will support a new allotment, courses and tutors. The money will also be invested into local projects.

For 15 years the people behind Chyan Cultural Centre toured Europe as Swamp Circus, an animal-free show. The group enjoyed successes at Edinburgh Festival and started touring theatres. Whilst performing at Falmouth Marine Festival, they took up an opportunity to purchase land in the local area and never looked back.

Chyan Community Field in Penryn is now a vibrant, well-used project with visitors from near and far. Courses include fruit tree pruning and grafting, herbal medicines, growing winter veg, composting and polytunnel growing, as well as lots of community events and courses.

Brett Jackson, from Chyan Cultural Centre, said:

"During daylight hours, Chyan is a public space for local people to access nature and sustainable ways of living. This includes natural ways of growing food without chemical additives and large amounts of oil and machinery.

Chyan Cultural Centre.

"We have a community orchard where people can access fruit like plums, apples and cherries. Chyan has a wind farm and solar panels, we have examples of sustainable buildings, cob buildings, a straw shed, tented buildings and a large tented dome for community meetings.

"It is all about creating a connection with nature and people."

From being a Co-op Local Community Fund cause, Chyan has struck up a partnership with St Mary's School, Falmouth to build a ‘willow zoo’, which is a willow dome for the children to play in. "They have really helped us with community partnerships," he added.

Brett continued:

"Money from Co-op Members has really helped with the allotment in particular. We found that, during lockdown, people have started gardening a lot more – so we’ve had a big demand at Chyan for people to come up and join the gardening club twice a week.

Chyan Cultural Centre.

"We’re actually going to invest in a new polytunnel because the current one is overused, and people are growing things on top of each other – which is a good thing. All the allotment spaces have grown massively over the summer and people are still using them in the bad weather.

"The funding will help us go forward in a sustainable way, we recently made some steps and pathways on the allotment, the project is getting more and more set up for the future as an essential community resource."

If you would like to get involved at Chyan Cultural Centre, you can visit their website here.

When Co-op Members buy own-brand products and services, 2p for every £1 spent goes to support local causes and community organisations.

Download the Co-op app to get personalised offers every week and select your local cause. To download the Co-op app, search ‘Co-op’ in the App Store.

To find out more about the Co-op Membership, click here.

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