£1m pot of cash

Jeanette Harold
Jeanette Harold

DOZENS of people took the opportunity to learn more about a major new initiative that will see £1m spent in their area over the next 10 years.

The Big Local improvement scheme is to be launched in the Dyke House area of Hartlepool, with financial support from the Big Lottery Fund.

People had the chance to find out more about the resident-led scheme at a meeting in the Wharton Annexe, in Wharton Terrace.

About 40 people, including residents, councillors, police officers, council officers and housing association representatives, attended.

There was a presentation and the opportunity for people to express an interest in getting involved.

It was the first of many and there will be regular future meetings.

There is no specific guidelines on what the Big Local funding can be spent on, but it will be up to communities to identify local issues.

Jeanette Harold, a Big Local representative who is helping to set up the scheme in Dyke House, said: “I was delighted with the turn out.

“This is a resident-led scheme and we have already had five people put their names down to go to a regional event in Gateshead later this month to find out more.

“This is a 10-year programme for local residents to spend the £1m on making their area a pleasant and more productive place to live.

“They will make all the decisions.

“There needs to be a legacy for the estate and that money will bring in more money and investment.”

The first stage is to get as many people involved as possible and then to develop a “local profile” which will look at how the area might change for the better for everyone; young and old.

Then a local partnership will be established with at least 51 per cent of members local residents.

They will then look at developing the plan and implementing it.

Keith Dawkins, a Putting Hartlepool First councillor for the new Jesmond ward, said: “It is a lot of money and it is certainly worthwhile having.

“A lot can be done with it and I am pleased that it is going to be resident-led.”

The ward has a population of around 5,100 people living in just over 2,500 households.

The Big Local area covers the council’s former Dyke House ward as well as Heather Grove, Cameron, Furness and Belk Streets and the Greenwood Road estate.

The Dyke House scheme is part of a 10-year programme that aims to bring about lasting change in 150 disadvantaged areas across England and Wales.

The area was selected after being submitted for inclusion in the Big Local programme by Hartlepool Borough Council.

For more information about the scheme and future meetings call Jeanette Harold on 07872058175 or email jeanette.harold@continuumcic.co.uk

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