A new pilot scheme trialled in Macclesfield has been a resounding success with community groups and has received cabinet approval to be expanded across the borough.
Cheshire East Council is one of 23 authorities nationwide that has been piloting a scheme that focuses on exploring what works best for local communities and how to maximise the facilities that are available to bring groups together.
The national pilot is called ‘delivering differently in neighbourhoods’ and Cheshire East has completed a highly successful trial following a year of activities in Macclesfield.
At the heart of the approach has been one key objective – to deliver services at the right time, by the right people and at the right place, through facilities which are seen as facilities which are valued by local communities.
The trial – which was funded through a central government grant – is expected to deliver a cost saving of more than £200,000 to residents in Cheshire East when it is successfully implemented over the next five years.
Maggie Faulkner Taylor, Chief Officer for Cheshire Streetwise said: “We would love Elim Christian Life Centre to become a connected communities hub as our base is ideally placed in the town centre.
“We have at least 500-600 people coming through Elim every week and we would like to provide more for them. Being a part of the connected communities scheme would give us the ability to move forward and improve the services we deliver for the people that we reach at the moment and enable us to have an even wider outreach.
Delivering differently in Macclesfield has focussed on a number of activities which include:
● developing networks of building and outdoor spaces;
● providing opportunities for people to raise aspirations and develop skills;
● developing places where community links are extended;
● providing community activities which promote mental wellbeing;
● offering services that increase independence for older people; and
● extending community activities
Councillor Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for communities and health, said: “The value of working with local community organisations is that we can listen first hand to what can work so we are able to get in early and transform people’s lives.”
“I would like to thank everyone in Macclesfield who has been part of the project, particularly the many volunteers who do such fantastic work in their local communities making such a difference to so many people.
“Our early successes with some of our resident-led projects and the innovative way we are making savings from them is truly ground-breaking.”
For more information on the connected communities project, please watch this video: