Plan unveiled to transform Church Hill

By Ian Dipple Thursday 29 May 2014 Updated: 30/05 13:21

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Buy photos » Chair Hilary Bennett and vice-chair Ian Johnson launch the Church Hill Big Local vision document at the site of the historic moons moat. Picture by Ian Dipple (s).

PART of Redditch is set to be transformed as a £1million decade long lottery funded project gets underway.

Members of the Church Hill Big Local group have released their vision for how the first £200,000 of the cash will be spent over the next two years to improve the lives of residents in the district.

The district was given £1million by the Big Lottery Fund in 2012 and over the last two years volunteers have been developing ideas for how it could be spent.

The plan sets out five priorities based on feedback from residents including improving the environment, raising community spirit, supporting older people, developing opportunities for young people and developing opportunities for children.

There are 16 projects in total with the flagship plan being to restore Bomford Hill to its former glory starting with the establishment of a friends group and some awareness raising activities at first, with the intention of investing £20,000 in three years time on major improvement work. The planting of a community orchard, including Redditch’s own Doddin apple tree, is also being discussed.

The group also wants to raise the profile of the historic Moons Moat site, develop a Church Hill walking trail, increase the number of people taking part in community activities and have allocated £10,000 to the installation of playground equipment for children in or near to residential areas. Such equipment used to be present in Church Hill in the 1980s and early 1990s but were removed by the borough council in favour of investing in centralised sites.

A total of £8,000 has been set aside over the two years for the creation of a money advice service, £15,000 for the creation of a multi-use games area on the site of Church Hill Community Centre and £12,000 on community courses to upskill people in computers, cooking and money management.

Grants will also be handed out to residents who want to revamp or makeover green spaces with a pot of £2,500 available to bid from for bulbs, plants, seeds and tools.

Hilary Bennett, chair of the Church Hill Big Local Partnership which is overseeing the project, said: “We have interviewed as many people possibly can and we have put their thoughts into this. It’s their plan, it’s not ours, it belongs to the people of Church Hill.”

Vice-chairman Ian Johnson added: “The plan can evolve. There will be things in here that won’t work, there will be things that work better than we could have ever imagined but the best thing we could get out of this is the community become involved as the project progresses and there’s no end to this, it’s sustainable.”

Residents can view the plan in detail at St Andrew’s Church off Tanhouse Lane on Wednesday (June 4) between 1pm and 7pm and the following day at Church Hill Community Centre in Loxley Close between 9am and 5pm.

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