Stoke residents old and young will come together in a celebration to mark the completion of an £18 million, state-of-the-art, housing development.
Staffordshire Housing Association’s West End Village, off London Road, Stoke, provides high quality accommodation for older residents.
It is also a major regeneration project for the town of Stoke – which has received government funding of £7.2m through the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and is providing homes and jobs in an area which has suffered from the decline of traditional industries in recent times.
A celebration of the development – which incorporates a new office headquarters for Staffordshire Housing Group – will be held on Friday, 27 May.
The art and creativity of the Staffordshire Potteries will feature alongside an official opening ceremony at the event.
Guests will be presented with an animated DVD of the development, colourful painted barge buckets and a packet of oatcake mix, made in Stoke-on-Trent.
Stoke-on-Trent Central MP Tristram Hunt will officially open the complex. SHA Chair Rhian Hughes and Paul Spooner, Executive Director of the Homes and Communities Agency Midlands, are also key speakers.
The remainder of the event will showcase the work of Stoke-on-Trent’s artistic community.
Diane Lea, Chief Executive of Staffordshire Housing Group, said: “Rather than a traditional opening ceremony we plan to host a celebration for the community.
“Staffordshire Housing Group hosted various community art initiatives during the building phase of the West End Village and these projects will be showcased on the day.”
The event will see the launch of an animated film about the building of the West End Village.
Stoke-on-Trent based artist Rob Pointon recorded the development as it progressed through a series of paintings.
He then worked with animator Karen Sale and acclaimed film maker Ray Johnson to complete a unique DVD about the development.
Karen, from Big Red Studio in Burslem, will hold an inter-generational animation workshop with West End residents and children from Alexandra Junior School, Normacot. Stoke-on-Trent.
Rob Pointon, who has produced a popular 3-D artwork in the grounds of the complex depicting a long lost canal which once ran through the site, will be on-hand at the workshop, together with city based blacksmith, Charis Jones and artist, Michelle Martin.
Michelle worked with local children to produce the brightly coloured barge buckets which will be presented to official guests at the event.
Blacksmith Charis created unique gates and railings for the village featuring horses and a runaway elephant. The unusual designs feature odd events in the history of London Road – wealthy pottery factory owners used to raise horses in the area and a circus elephant caused chaos after getting loose.
For further information contact Sandra Barber on 01782 744533.
Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend the event.
Photo opportunities, Friday 27 May.
2.30pm – official opening with Tristram Hunt MP and Paul Spooner of the Homes and Communities Agency.
3.30pm – Residents, school children and local artists stage animation workshops.
Notes to Editors:
SHA is a housing association committed to building a better future for local communities. Established in 1984, SHA provide a huge range of tenant services including maintenance, tenancy support, estate management and gardening, as well as essential guidance on income management, money advice and benefits assessments. They are committed to improving live in Staffordshire through regeneration, supported housing, older people’s villages, key worker homes and a rolling programme of home improvements. Their subsidiary company, Blue Mountain Housing Association, also work closely with refugee and local BME communities to provide essential support with healthcare, education, training and employment as well as access to quality housing.
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the single, national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England. Our vision is to create opportunity for people to live in homes they can afford in places they want to live, by enabling local authorities and communities to deliver the ambition they have for their own areas.