Council action demonstrates commitment to community development
March 1, 2021
Since the start of the pandemic the Cramlington Town Council has taken a unique decision, compared to other town councils, to focus more of its resources on communities and identifying gaps and opportunities for all. To this end it has established a Community Engagement Team that has progressed a series of projects and worked closely with community groups in Cramlington.
The team has focused on developing a number of community networks or ‘hubs’ which are collaborations between community organisations with similar goals and aspirations.
Now we can announce one of the most dynamic and pioneering projects to be developed by the Town Council with the transfer of a county council building into the control of a multi agency partnership. designed to make a huge impact on the lives of local people. No organisations will be removed or prejudiced – in fact this new project will future proof the site for future generations.
The pioneering multi agency Eastfield Community Hub will focus on providing a wide range of activities for all ages, while creating opportunities to improve health and wellbeing, and undertaking consultation that will enable the community to thrive and grow and offer access to all community groups, therefore having a huge impact on the lives of local people.
The building (pictured) is in urgent need of refurbishment and re-imagining to unleash its potential as an asset for the local community and to also be a beacon for the whole town.
Currently negotiations are underway to establish a Management Group of current users and the County Council are working with Cramlington Town Council to identify further capacity in the town for sport and community development.
This is just one example of the inclusive and responsive work being done by the Cramlington Town Council.
For example as part of our commitment to the environment, the Wild Spaces Hub aims to foster and re-develop Cramlington’s natural spaces; providing information on local wildlife and the local environment; while increasing community involvement and ownership, alongside nurturing the biodiversity and upkeep of the area.
How has this made a difference? Over 750 trees have been planted, a community allotment is under development and residents and ‘Friends Of’ groups have been established.
The Arts Hub is investigating opportunities for public arts and engagement at key locations across the town.
What has been achieved? Arts Council applications have been submitted and consultation with artists and creatives on future initiatives and public engagements is underway. The Youth Team organised animation workshops where youngsters produced material for a virtual showcase.
The recently formed Food Distribution Hub’s goal is to proactively enhance the delivery of food distribution to those experiencing hardship through food poverty or Covid-19 and to also look for sustainable solutions.
Has this made a difference? Undoubtedly, with improved coordinated distribution of food, cleaning products and bonus items such as easter eggs along with promotion of service information.
Looking ahead, Cramlington Town Council will be focussing on developing these already firm foundations as we network with community organisations throughout the town.
Events are organised and if necessary reconfigured to fit in with Covid regulations – as was the case at Christmas where a showcase was presented as a virtual event broadcasting the work of many groups and individuals.