It is hard to believe that Burngreave New Deal for Communities (BNDfC) was established 6 years ago in April 2001, following the award of £52m over 10 years, 2001-2011, by the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit, a Department of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
The change in the area in those six years has been dramatic, the community has become more diverse as Burngreave has embraced new arrivals from Africa, Iraq, Eastern Europe and other parts of the world.
Services in the area have improved and become responsive to local needs resulting in crime levels in Burngreave dropping below the rest of the city; the number of children in the area leaving school with better qualifications increasing year on year; and the quality and cleanliness of open space in Burngreave at an all time high.
Major works have been undertaken, which has meant some inconvenience, but has resulted in the development of new housing and significant improvement to roads and buildings in the area. As we move into Year 7 of the Burngreave New Deal for Communities programme we will see the benefits of the improvements to the road system in and around Spital Hill and the transformation of Sorby House and Vestry Hall being completed in late summer 2007.
However this will also signal the beginning of further developments in the area as plans to redevelop Ellesmere Green and the street scene on Spital Hill, along with the introduction of a new supermarket, are unveiled.
People across Sheffield, South Yorkshire and nationally have recognised that Burngreave is delivering its vision; a place where people want to live and work. Lessons learnt here are being implemented in other areas.
Quality of life
More importantly, people who live in Burngreave have recognised that things have changed. In a recent survey 91% of people who live in the area said Burngreave is a friendly place to live; 82% of people feel they have a good quality of life; 65% of people think Burngreave New Deal for Communities has made a difference and 33% of people feel they can influence what happens in the area.
In a place like Burngreave, which has suffered from a lack of investment for over a generation, there is always more to be done. In 2007 we will see continued investment in our young people, in services that keep people safe, in making our neighbourhoods cleaner and greener, in improving the quality of housing in the area and in ensuring good quality learning and employment opportunities are available for local people.
The Burngreave New Deal for Communities programme has a Partnership Board who is responsible for ensuring these priorities are delivered and in 2007 five of the resident places on the Partnership Board will be filled through local elections.
This is an opportunity for local people to become involved in shaping the future of Burngreave. There are still many challenges to be faced and many opportunities to be seized, not least the development of a succession strategy for the area that builds on and sustains the legacy of the New Deal for Communities programme.
We are all a part of that future…
John Clark, Chief Executive