A determined effort is being made to bring life back to a village shopping centre which has seen better days.
The campaign has been launched in Little Sutton where it is argued the thriving shops of yesteryear have been replaced by empty premises, estate agents, restaurants and takeaways.
St Paul’s ward councillor Angela Claydon (Lab) has frequently referred to the decline of the village shops when commenting on planning applications before the borough council and the previous Ellesmere Port and Neston Council.
But ‘Bring Life to Little Sutton’ is now the ambition of a group of residents who have teamed up and have taken on the mantle of improving the area.
They already have a string of community events planned in the run up to Christmas.
Julie Perry, who started up the group on Facebook social media, works with the global company Forever Living Products, said to be the world leaders in aloe vera.
She loves helping people with their health and well-being and feels that the village and residents would benefit from a community hub and cafe and fresh nutritious food.
Julie conducted a survey asking residents what they would like to see in the neighbourhood that would improve their lives and the top answers were more access to a range of shops and activities for children.
In response to this she organised a summer fair in partnership with Danielle Slater of the popular Lily Betts pop up vintage tea room which was a great success.
A children’s Halloween party, attended by Ellesmere Port Radio, resulted in high demand for a Christmas one and a pop up food fair is now running every Saturday from 9am to noon until Christmas at Little Sutton Community Centre.
She said: “I am passionate about making Little Sutton a great village for my little girl to grow up in. We are acting in response to the residents’ demands.
“Little Sutton is often overlooked when it comes to development but we feel that we can offer people a choice of healthy, locally sourced, traceable food.
“We are working with local producers such as Bridge Community Farms in Mill Lane to provide fresh, locally grown vegetables at affordable prices.”
In prospect is a community cafe where residents can enjoy freshly made soups, cakes and hot drinks whilst having a chat with others and making new friends.
Health and well-being and promoting and supporting local ethical businesses will also be on the menu.
Julie added: “It is so important to us that as well as offering healthy food we recognise that health is also about emotional wellbeing and many people are low or socially isolated.
“We hope to offer a venue to make new friends and meet up with old ones.”
The new initiative is backed by local councillors, MP Justin Madders (Lab) and Plus Dane Housing as well as many local food producers.
People who would like more information can contact Julie on 07958 656286 or join the Bring Life To Little Sutton Facebook group.
The group’s fourth pop up food fayre takes place on Saturday (December 12) and there is to be family Christmas party on Tuesday, December 22 from 5.30pm. People can get more information by joining their Facebook page Bring Life to Little Sutton.