TWO new “neighbourhood houses” have been established in Rudheath and Winsford as part of a pilot scheme to improve residents’ quality of life.
The innovative project, led by Vale Royal Borough Council, Weaver Vale Housing Trust (WVHT) and Cheshire police, aims to enhance the areas by making the communities safer and improving education, job prospects, housing and health.
The two converted properties – at Cotebrook Road, Rudheath and Finsbury Walk, Winsford – will offer training on improving employment skills, such as CV writing, and will provide help with reading, writing and maths.
Community police officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) will also use the houses as a base, meaning they can keep in regular touch with residents.
Job Centre Plus, Connexions, the Citizen Advice Bureau and Cheshire Youth Offending Team are amongst the other organisations already on board.
“This is a perfect example of real partnership working for the benefit of the local community. It is about making a difference on the street, where it really matters,” said Steve Jennings, chief executive of WVHT.
The Zone learning centre, based at Northwich Station is offering “taster” computer courses at the Rudheath house, and The Junction on Dene Drive, Winsford, will provide similar sessions.
The Neighbourhood Management teams are also working with Groundwork Cheshire to develop a community garden at Cotebrook Road, and are keen to improve play facilities on the Greenfields estate.
Chief Supt Tim Jackson, head of policing in Vale Royal, said: “We believe we have identified those areas which would benefit most from the help and advice on offer.
“However these two sites are pilot schemes and, if successful, we will look at the possibility of running similar schemes in other parts of the borough.”