Villagers see big plans at event

Various proposals for the major funding awarded to four Northumberland villages have been unveiled to the public.

Two years ago, it was announced that £1million from the National Lottery’s Big Local initiative would be allocated to Cresswell, Ellington, Linton and Lynemouth over a ten-year period.

A resident-led CELL steering group was then formed and following a postal survey, house-to-house inquiries, ‘big chat’ sessions and quarterly newsletters, it put together a draft Big Local Plan that has seven themes – transport, jobs, environment, children and young people, tackling poverty, housing and community buildings, and strengthening communities.

The public were able to view the proposals, watch a film about the development of the plan, and ask questions at an event in the Lynemouth Miners’ Welfare Institute.

Some of those who attended signed up to volunteer on some of the task groups that have been formed and it is hoped that more people will come on board.

Steering group member Kevin Hindmarsh said: “If we approve the draft plan at a meeting on Monday, it will be sent off to the Big Lottery Fund headquarters in London for assessment. We’ll be asking for £329,500 for the first two years.

“We’re calling on people to join one or two of the task groups if they can, as the more residents that get involved, the higher the chances that our projects will be successful.

“We aim to put things in place that will have a long-term benefit to each community and to help with this, we’re looking to set up links with local organisations and we’ll be making applications for match funding.”

The projects mentioned include a community transport scheme, a new social enterprise to provide integrated care for the elderly in partnership with Lynemouth Day Centre, improving the green spaces and footpaths between the villages, a new skate park, the establishment of an affordable warmth initiative with partners and setting up a community land trust that would be able to buy and renovate empty terraced homes and rent them to local people at affordable rates.

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