A community in West Swindon has been awarded £20,000 from the Big Lottery for further consultation and development work to get people involved with the Big Local programme – in advance of the £1 million allocated to the area to fund projects organised by residents to help make Toothill an even better place to live over 10 years.
The £20,000 grant has been allocated to projects over the next six months by a local Steering Group of residents. These include a 500 line poem about Toothill compiled by local school children working with writers to describe their area in verse and express their aspirations for the area, as well as support for the long running Toothill community café to act as more of a local hub where residents can voice their opinions.
Another Toothill Festival is being planned – bigger and better even than last year – and there will be half term activities for children designed to promote health and fitness, and interest in the 2012 London Olympics.
A photography competition will be held to collect images of life in Toothill – for a long term community archives.
In response to an earlier consultation arts and crafts workshops and taster sessions.
The steering group will also study existing venues in Toothill, such as the community centre to explore potential development or improvement.
In 2011 the Big Lottery allocated an initial £10,000 to spent on consultation projects, including May’s Toothill Festival, to set the scene for the launch of the Big Local programme in 2012 which will be administered by the Community Development Foundation.
Big Local representative Helen Garforth commented: “Once the second round of money is spent, Toothill will have a clear community vision, a partnership of local residents and organisations supporting them to form a Big Local plan. This will ensure the money is spent wisely over the next 10 years.
“It has been fantastic to see Big Local Toothill develop as a true resident-led endeavour. We would especially like to thank Pam Pixton from Swindon Borough Council who has been a wonderful asset – managing the money side of things so far, and providing true support and guidance for the extremely skilled and passionate, and ever expanding, local steering group.”