AMBITIOUS plans to transform an overgrown garden into a valuable community space have been boosted by a top supermarket.

Earl’s Colne Library’s garden has been largely untouched for a number of years, but has moved a step closer to renovation after being chosen for the Tesco Bags of Help funding initiative.

The supermarket has teamed up with charity Groundwork UK to give cash grants of up to £4,000 to outdoor community projects, all raised by the 5 pence carrier bag charge.

But Earls Colne library’s plan, incorporating designs by children at Earls Colne Primary School, needs shoppers’ votes to stand a chance of winning the prize money.

The garden behind the library is a large overgrown plot, which many customers have expressed an interest in using. With that in mind, staff approached the local school before children spent a term designing a sensory garden, to go alongside a safe story time area.

Cllr Susan Barker, the cabinet member responsible for libraries, said: “We’d like to see local Rainbows, Brownies, Scouts and Guide groups using the garden to plant fruit and vegetables to learn about healthy eating and where food comes from.

“The Women’s Institute and local horticultural society also want to help by volunteering to work in the garden, where they can share their gardening skills with others.

“We also hope to launch a Men’s Shed project like the one in Maldon, which help tackle loneliness and isolation by providing a place for men to make new friends and learn new skills, such as woodwork.

“There is huge support for the garden locally and we are very keen to get started, but we need your votes.”

Once work is under way, it is expected to take 12 months to finish the garden, although the council wants to continue developing ideas to match community need.