In 2011, when the Big Lottery announced that £1million of Big Local funding had been allocated to Rudheath & Witton, discussions were held with a number of organisations to agree what was needed locally to enable the area to spend the money according to the Lottery rules.
It was decided that the newly established Rudheath & Witton partnership group – set up by Cheshire West & Chester Council, should take the initiative forward as they had just started looking at drawing up plans for the area and had been recruiting community reps.
This group became the RWT Board – and since then they have achieved many important things.
To start with the Board led on a wide ranging programme of consultation with the community to find out which issues were important to people locally, holding discussions with groups and organisations and many individuals to make sure everyone had their say.
From all these discussions, common themes began to emerge and the Board were able to identify five key priorities. Between May 2011 and March 2012 they went back out into the community and spoke to over 800 people about their issues and concerns, fitting these within each theme or identifying where there were overlaps between themes.
These are the priorities which the local community identified:
- Improve the local built and natural environment
- Provide more quality activities and facilities for local young people
- Help to reduce people’s debt and financial difficulties so they are more able to manage on their income.
- Improve the skills for people living in the neighbourhood which will allow them to access opportunities for employment and aspire to more ambitious futures
- Develop the skills of local people and local community groups so that they are even more able to help others in the local community and provide services to them
- Provide venues for local community activities
Up until 2023 the £1million awarded by Big Local will be used to help meet these priorities.
It will pay for community run projects which will be well known and well communicated to local people, and which will help to make Rudheath & Witton an even better place to live.
A few projects have already been approved by RWT, and more information on these can be found here.
The Board hopes that the Big Local opportunity will kick start the area, so that in 10 years Rudheath and Witton will have a more engaged community who are aware of the activities and services in the area and who are contributing to more community led activities that provide support and services for the whole community.
Local residents of all ages will be more able and enthused to secure work, volunteer and work cooperatively for the benefit of their neighbours, manage their finances, lead healthier lifestyles, look after and respect the open spaces and local environment in the area and contribute to decisions about the area.
For more information:
Please visit: www.rudheathandwitton.org uk
Dan Ellis, Project Manager