Greening Wingrove aims to create a sustainable, inner city garden suburb in an ethnically and socially diverse area of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Its aim is to tackle the problems of climate change and urban grime through a ‘green lens’.
Any meaningful change for the better in a neighbourhood depends on focussing Council services on neighbourhood needs, and unlocking residents’ enthusiasms.
Deploying the neighbourhood services team in new ways has now brought back lanes and streets to a much higher standard of cleanliness. Ward funds have improved allotments, and made free home insulation widely available (reducing carbon footprints and curbing fuel bills).
Greening Wingrove’s two ‘garden festivals’ attracted almost 300 residents from many different ethnic backgrounds. These offer plants for sale from allotments, invite participation in bee conservation, promote recycling and include fun such as making guerrilla seed ‘bombs’.
Over 80 members of residents’ groups agreed, through a participatory budget process, to fund 15 eco-projects, including estate clean-ups, setting up community gardens, and providing back yard gardening ‘starter kits’. And additional street tree and shrub planting is planned.
The Cooperative has sponsored newsletters, Groundwork and Business in the Community brought volunteers from major businesses to work on local ‘green’ projects, Newcastle University’s Moorbank Botanic Garden is sharing expertise, and the school building agency, AURA, is helping children design a ‘green boulevard’ linking two primary schools.
A cooperative constitutional structure is being explored for the community partnership.
Wingrove is a socially and ethnically diverse area of Newcastle’s inner West End.
There has been no specific funding obtained. However small bids have been successful and Ward budgets have provided over £50,000 to date. There have also been contributions in kind and time.
A BIG Lottery Fund bid is currently in preparation. Greening Wingrove is one of only 30 projects across the country invited to develop its ideas in ways that could attract up to £1 million from the BIG Lottery’s Communities Living Sustainably funding.
Things are not perfect yet – securing behaviour change among some residents, businesses and landlords is still needed – but a visible improvement has been made, and noticed.
For further information about this project, please contact Nigel Todd at Greening Wingrove:
T: 07711 286711
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