Freightliner’s City Farm faces funding shortfall

Freightliner City Farm
Elizabeth, Chief Executive of Freightliner's City Farm, and Fred. The farm faces closure due to a shortfall in funding. Photo: Luke Andrews.

An Islington city farm, founded 40 years ago to bring the countryside to inner London, warned today that it may not “keep open” without additional funding, depriving children of a taste of the natural world.

Elizabeth McAllister, Chief Executive of Freightliner’s City Farm, said cash was at “a minimum safe level for an organisation”.

She launched a petition to raise £30,000 this month to raise funds for “vital” infrastructure projects and to cover a cash shortfall at the charity.

So far it has raised just £12.50.

The farm, a five minute walk from Highbury & Islington station, is backed by donors including BBC Children in Need, and gives city kids a chance to meet a cow that hasn’t been made into a burger, and is regularly used for family outings and school trips.

Among its much-loved residents are goats, sheep, chickens and two cows called Olivia and Matilda.

Cash is needed for new electric lights in the barn, and to repair the duck house. Human facilities also need a touch up, with the toilet requiring “more than a lick of paint”.

“The frosty weather meant all of our plumbing was pulled apart,” said Ms McAllister. “We need this money to keep open, feed the animals, care for the garden, insurance and so on.”

Ms McAllister expects to raise most of the funds before the end of the year.

The farm lost £21,000 in 2016, according to accounts published on the Charity Commission’s website. It has been in the red once before, when it lost £19,000 seven years ago.

“We don’t want to cry wolf, but there’s always a risk for organisations that are run very tightly,” she said.

“Love Freightliners Farm! Happy to help”, said Richard Price, a previous visitor.