GIVING WESTOE WHAT IT NEEDS
The Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) figures report that of the 10,735 people living in Westoe 22% have no qualifications and 20% have long-term health problems. Despite being slightly above average with 40% of people in full-time work compared to the national average of 39%, this does not influence the wider picture, which showcases Westoe as an area of ongoing concern.
As a result of these figures, the Trust decided that Westoe would become one of its focuses for the Communities that Work programme, which would see the Trust direct its attention to the area to pinpoint the challenges that it was facing. The organisation worked to redirect resources, and where possible funds, to make a lasting and positive impact.
Recognising the value in the infrastructure that is in place in Westoe, The Coalfields Regeneration Trust made a commercial capital investment in the retail units at the heart of Westoe Crown Village. Taking ownership of these properties meant that the organisation could work within the local community to provide retail space at affordable prices.
In addition, a social investment grant was made to Asset Base CIC, the selected partner to take on the management of the local community centre, which had remained dormant for five-years. A Community Engagement Manager and front of house Community Hub Coordinator were also appointed to encourage use of the facilities and to create activities and services that would respond to the needs of those living within the local area.
In a short space of time, Westoe Crown Community Hub has become a new focal point for the district, encouraging people to come together and to address the challenges faced. Participation and user numbers have exceeded expectations, with plans to extend the facility.
In numbers Westoe Crown Point has achieved:
- 30 co-designed programmes of activity have been created.
- The Centre has welcomed more than 1,000 visitors.
- 3 business start-ups have been supported.
- 11 regular volunteering activities take place.
- 2 jobs have been created.
- 3,449 people are participating in activities that positively impact their health and wellbeing.
- £50 of social value is created for every £1 invested.