A long term improvement programme has transformed both homes and attitudes in a Stoke-on-Trent village.
Staffordshire Housing Group (SHG) helped lead a regeneration project in Fegg Hayes Village which has seen house building and home refurbishments, environmental improvements and a co-ordinated approach to improving community cohesion.
Community leaders today praised the success of the regeneration programme and said residents now had a sense of pride in Fegg Hayes Village as a place to live.
The changes have resulted in a drop in problems involving environmental damage, litter and rubbish since 2009 and crime and anti-social behaviour in the village has significantly reduced.
Staffordshire Housing Group has carried out a mix of regeneration, remodelling and refurbishment works in Fegg Hayes Village.
Improvements achieved include:
· 43 homes fully refurbished by the Staffordshire Housing Group
· 67 new homes built by Keepmoat including 48 for sale and 19 for rent by SHG
· Demolition of the derelict Elephant and Castle Public House and replaced with 5 family homes and 4 older person bungalows for affordable rent.
· 21 homes being built for affordable rent on previously unkempt land
· Solar thermal panels installed at 10 homes providing cheaper hot water and lower energy bills.
· New boundary walls built to help improve security and give a tidy, uniform appearance to the street scene. This project also provided training opportunities for young people wanting to enter the building trade.
· Remodelling of garden areas with residents given a choice on lawns, gravelled areas and raised planting beds.
The physical improvements have been bolstered by the encouragement of community initiatives such as the formation of a Neighbourhood Watch group. This led to a successful bid for £1,850 from the Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s People Power Fund to support crime prevention initiatives.
A tree and bulb planting scheme involving local school children and residents helped to improve the environment and promote community spirit.
“The regeneration work has really improved the area of Fegg Hayes,” said Maggie Ferneyhough, a Fegg Hayes resident and Chair of the Whitfield Valley Community Centre.
“Residents have come and gone and the people living here has changed a lot over the last five years so the regeneration has helped people integrate within the existing community better and feel proud of their new surroundings.
“There is also a greater presence of Police Community Support Officers within Fegg Hayes, helping people to feel safer. There are now more ‘clean-up days’ and ‘skip days’ encouraging residents to take action within their community to make it cleaner.”
Cllr Ann James added: “Regeneration by the Staffordshire Housing Group has made a notable difference in many ways including, investment in their own properties, building new housing in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, working with Fegg Hayes Residents Association and supporting the Neighbourhood Watch to improve the environment of the whole area.
“Overall, the refurbished properties and the new builds have helped Fegg Hayes to regenerate significantly and give the community a sense of pride.”
Marshall Fear, Head of Regeneration and Development at Staffordshire Housing Group said, “The success of the scheme has been down to the input and hard work from the local residents and is a real credit to them all. We look forward to continuing to work with them to help improve the wider area in our role as Locally Trusted Organisation for the Big Local project.
For media enquiries contact Sarah Pye on 01782 743883.
Notes to Editors:
Based in Stoke on Trent with homes and services throughout Staffordshire and East Cheshire, the Staffordshire Housing Group comprises Staffordshire Housing Association, Arch, Blue Mountain and Revival Home Improvement Agency.
The group is dedicated to creating opportunities and changing lives by providing high quality homes and services to a diverse range of people.
Staffordshire Housing Association owns and manages around 3,000 homes for rent and sale, and also delivers regeneration and housing development.
Revival, the group’s home improvement agency, works with older and vulnerable people to maintain their properties, help them return home from hospital, adapt their homes to suit their health needs and maintain their independence.