Thursday, 30 December 2010

Our agreed targets for 2011.........

We would like to wish all our friends, neighbours, partners and funders a very happy and healthy New Year. Thank you for your support throughout 2010, you have helped to make it a fantastic year for us. We are looking forward to working together and in partnership with you all again next year in what we believe will be a very busy, interesting, exciting and fun 2011.

Following details in our recently adopted Strategic Plan 2011 - 2015 our Management Committee have agreed that, among others, our main targets for 2011 include:
  • Securing permission from Network Rail to use arches D, E and F
  • Confirming work consents from Network Rail, allowing us to provide a secure gated access to arches E and F
  • Providing the main pedestrian access route onto the Green Heart Den (heavily reliant on the purchase of 188 Marsh Street - by Barrow Borough Council from Network Rail)
  • Increasing the capacity of our Management Committee
  • Working to increase our volunteer data base
  • Employment of a Project Manager
  • Developing income streams
  • Development of the north plot community grow your own scheme
Below is the initial north plot community grow your own scheme design as produced by Groundwork landscape architect John Nuttall in consultation with our Management Committee.
Now the hard work begins......................

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

North Plot boundary wall concerns......

The visibly deteriorting condition of the bondary wall between the north and Marsh Street back street. This wall has been rapidly deteriorating for several years and we continue to be concerned for the structural integrity of the wall and potential risks to public safety. 

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Green Heart Den attendances - 2010

We have collated the final total of attendances for 2010. Each individual visit is based on those consiting of a group of 4 or more people who have used or visited the Green Heart Den. Details include:

Number of individual visits: 71
Aged 8-11: 580
Aged 11-16: 90
Aged 16-18: 276
Adult/resident: 650
Agency/Organisation: 235
Total attendances for 2010.......... 1830

A complete breakdown of these totals can be downloaded here.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Happy Christmas.......

We would like to wish all of our friends, neighbours, partners and funders all the very best for Christmas.

Thank you for your consistant support throughout the year, we look forward to working with you all again in the New Year.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Our Green Space - Local educational case study

Recently Our Green Space (OGS) commissioned Amanda McCleary to gather information and capture the educational aspects of the Our Green Space Project, documenting the best case examples from each of the five communities that contribute to the Our Green Space project:

• Asby
• Barrow in Furness (Green Heart Den)
• Burgh by-Sands
• Newbeggin
• Wasdale

For the educational case study for the Green Heart Den Amanda was impressed with, and chose to include details of our work with - Central and Hindpool Junior Wardens, Furness College and our use of multi media.

A copy of the OGS Local Educational Case Studies as produced by Amanda can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

A very generous donation from Thomas Armstrong Construction Ltd

Our Project Coordinator Graham Bromley accepting the extremely generous donation of several pallets of new bricks from Thomas Armstrong Construction Ltd site manager Paul Dixon.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Paul and all at Thomas Armstrong Construction Ltd. The donation will make a real difference and contribute towards works assocaited with providing a new boundary wall.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Strategic Plan 2011 - 2015

After considering the Strategic Plan 2011 - 2015 as developed and produced in partnership with Mike Brockbank of VCF Solutions our Management Committee have now agreed and adopted the plan.

The strategy is based on:
  • Recommendations identified in a previous strategic review
  • Contributions from our Management Committee membership during previous strategic plannning workshops facilitated by Mike Brockbank
  • Previously identified action plans agreed by our Management Committee
  • Recommendations included in a Development Trust Association health check
  • Existing policies, procedures and plans
  • Our aims and objectives
We would like to thank Mike Brockbank of VCF Solutions for his excellent work, in partnership with our Project Coordinator, in helping to develop and produce the final draft strategic plan for consideration. 

We would also like to thank Our Green Space who prided the funding to enable our work with VCF Solutions.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Marks&Spencer - Green Living Spaces grant success

Marks Spencer today marks the start of the third year of its successful partnership with the environmental charity Groundwork by supporting and confirming a substantial grant towards the development of our north plot community grow you own scheme.

The Greener Living Spaces initiative is funded by the profit from the 5p* M&S charges for food carrier bags. Marks & Spencer has been charging 5p* for food carrier bags in all of its UK stores since May 2008 with the aim of encouraging customers to reduce the number of bags they use. Since then the initiative has:
• reduced M&S food carrier bag usage by 81% from 464 million in 2006/07 to 89 million in 2009/10
• raised £3.6m for Groundwork, which has:
o funded 79 ‘Greener Living Spaces’ projects – excluding the 20 new projects announced today.
o engaged over 10,000 people in local project activity, and a further 1,115 M&S employees.
o improved 562,826 m² of redundant or under used land across the UK, and maintained a further 201,808 m², equivalent to 139 and 50 football pitches respectively.

We would like to thank our project partners, including NHS Cumbria, Furness Locality Healh Improvement Team and Groundwork for all of their support, working in partnership to help secure this successful grant for the development of the north plot community grow your own scheme. It is very much appreciated.

We believe that, among the main health benefits of such as scheme would include; increased opportunities for physical activity, improved mental health and well being and the increased availability of fresh food. We also hope that by working in partnership with health organisation involved in both the mental health and disability sectors it will help to reduce the stigmatisation and isolation that both those suffering with mental health conditions and those with disabilities can feel.

It would also provide an additinal resource for the local community and enhance our other adjacent development - the Green Heart Den.

Julian Smith of Groundwork North East said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Marsh Street Arches and Garden CIC and local residents in their ongoing efforts to make productive use of the derelict land on their doorstep. The development of the North Plot as a community food growing initiative is a tremendous opportunity and the ‘Greener Living Spaces’ grant has been the catalyst for the project. We are building on the tremendous success of the adjacent Green Heart Den project, which created an urban oasis in the heart of residential Barrow. This was a model project demonstrating how a local community can bring together and mobilise local partners to take collective action to improve the quality of their lives. We expect this second phase of activity to be just as successful and the opportunity to develop the site to incorporate opportunities for local food production adds a further exciting dimension to the project.”

If you would like more information about the "Greener Living Spaces" intitiative, please visit the Marks and Spencer website here.

You can find out more about Groundwork by visiting their website here

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Interview for Building Community website

Barrow Borough Council regeneration officer Val Holden is interviewed by Carl Thompson, editor and camera operator for Hub TV.

Carl had returned to discuss our progress, since he last visited and to take some additional footage of the Green Heart Den for the Building Community website.

Building Community, are following our progress over the next 12 months in regard to the asset transfer of the north plot. Their website is an online showcase featuring real-time practice from partnerships comprising councils and communities that are in the process of transferring land or buildings into community asset ownership. The films are made in conjunction with the Asset Transfer Unit which is led and managed by the Development Trust Association.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

BDDA - BDDA Christmas Grotto 2010

BDDA- What's on: BDDA Christmas Grotto 2010: "If you’re in need of a good dose of festive cheer, why not visit our annual Christmas Grotto, held at the Centre in School Street, Barrow. 11am to 3pm, Saturday 4th December & Sunday 5th December 2010 ..."

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Signal Films, additional filming

Signal Films Project Manager May Davies taking some additional film footage as a follow up to our previous work with the art and design students from Furness College. In particular their work in providing the design for gates to arch D which formed part of the "Involving Schools and Colleges in Barrow Urban Regeneration" project.