Community organisations from across Newcastle are now able to carry out much needed work thanks to a £100,000 commitment from partners involved in the city’s latest head office development.
Seven community groups will receive money and help in kind to deliver projects that until now have been out of reach.
The first one to get underway is the Pendower Good Neighbour Project. The charity works with residents on Pendower Estate, in the west end of Newcastle, to improve their quality of life and to make the estate a great place to live.
They have received support to transform overgrown garden space on the estate into a greenspace that can be enjoyed by residents and visitors.
Other projects to follow over the next several months include those for The Mercy Hub, Northbourne Youth Initiative, West End Women and Girls Centre, Building Futures East, West End Foodbank and The People’s Kitchen.
The £100,000, designed to help residents and community groups across Newcastle, has been raised by contractors BAM and developers Ask Real Estate, together with north east based housing association Home Group.
Home Group is currently building its new head office, One Strawberry Lane, next to St James Park. The programme is part of Home Group’s wider plans for engagement with the city’s voluntary and community sector once the building is finished.
Gillian Roll, Head of Strategy and Product innovation at Home Group, said: “We’ve been based in the North East for over 85 years and are as committed now to enhancing lives, building aspirations and meeting the needs of people living in the Newcastle area as we’ve ever been.
“Part of the new Home Group head office will act as a support hub for the voluntary sector and we’re working with Connected Voice to help tailor the space, and the expertise within, to best support community groups.
“When complete next year, we hope One Strawberry Lane will be a beacon for enablement, collaboration and innovation for Newcastle’s voluntary and community sector. In the meanwhile, we want to start relationships with communities in and around the west end now.”
The One Strawberry Lane Community Project will include donations, construction, tradespeople, landscaping, skills development, volunteering, and mentoring.
Craig Madge, Project Manager for BAM’s team creating the new building, said: “The team and I are progressing very well with these seven terrific schemes. To BAM, it’s so important to look after and improve the lives and conditions for people in the areas around us.
“Coming from the City myself, it gives me great pride to help my local community and it is part of our DNA as a business to think of others.’’
John Hughes, Managing Director for Ask Real Estate which is developing the building for Home Group added: “We are proud to be able to contribute to improving the lives of local residents while One Strawberry Lane is under development.
“Once complete, the building will act as a community support hub, so the development team is keen to make an immediate start in enhancing the lives of the people of Newcastle by supporting these local projects and creating a long-lasting legacy once One Strawberry Lane is open.”