Minister’s support for Our Place
Published on: 05 May 2014
STAPLE Hill had a head start when it applied for Government funding for a neighbourhood scheme – it already had the name.
The nationwide programme for local initiatives is called Our Place, which is also the title of the community flat at the heart of the Staple Hill Regeneration Partnership.
So it was fitting that the Communities Minister Stephen Williams chose Staple Hill to announce the 123 schemes that had been successful in securing cash for neighbourhood working.
Our Place brings together the right people – councillors, public servants, voluntary and community organisations and the community themselves – to tackle local issues and revolutionise the way an area works.
Staple Hill is one of the areas that has won a share of £4.3 million to be distributed through the programme.
Councillor Shirley Potts told the Minister, who is MP for Bristol West, that Staple Hill was ahead of the game on localism, having been working in such a way since 1997.
The regeneration partnership had evolved out of people's desires and the 'Our Place' community flat had opened in 2005 because of the residents' wish to have a meeting place for the neighbourhood, she said.
Representatives of the groups involved, including Merlin Housing and local traders, showed Mr Williams around the former Staple Hill Primary School, where it is hoped a youth club can be opened, and the Pendennis flats.
Mr Williams said: “Strong examples from pilot areas show that when a community is engaged and active in determining how their neighbourhood works, real change is possible. I am pleased that through Our Place, communities all over the country are hearing this message and taking up the challenge to build a stronger economy and fairer society and to tackle local issues through new ways of working.
“It’s been great to visit Staple Hill and see for myself an Our Place project that is beginning to engage the whole community and form solutions to local problems.”