The Building Links project has sought to make connections with communities across the 10 parishes’ area so that they are “informed, enthused and engaged with” the 10 Parishes Centre – an exciting development that would provide a new community and family hub for the 10 parishes area alongside the, soon to be constructed, Children’s Centre at Croft Way, Wiveliscombe. The Building Links Project was commissioned and managed by the Wiveliscombe Area Partnership on behalf of the 10 Parishes Centre Steering Group.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Wiveliscome 10 Parishes Centre – The 10 Parishes Centre at Wiveliscombe will be a vibrant multi-purpose centre delivering services to children and families, providing community activities, new workspace for creative industries, plus other training and skills development and in due course, primary heath facilities.
Funding for “Building Links” has come from Somerset Rural Renaissance with help both from Somerset County Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council. The Project was undertaken over a three-month period from January to March 2007.
The “Building Links Project” set out to achieve a number of objectives:
• To increase awareness of the proposed 10 Parishes Centre
• To engage representatives of communities across the 10 parishes’ area in the development of the 10 Parishes Centre
• To identify enterprising and innovative solutions to meeting needs and delivering services at the Centre
• To put in place the means by which local people are kept informed and community involvement can grow
• To create and develop ways to support community interest in developing and managing the 10 Parishes Centre
Leaflets, presentations, press releases and briefing notes were produced in order to communicate with the people of the 10 parishes’ area and those who serve them in a variety of ways. Surveys were undertaken, meetings were held, and information and feedback forms were put on the internet. The Project believes that through this the profile of the 10 Parishes Centre project has been raised significantly. A survey was undertaken of existing community venues in the 10PC area. This identified a number of issues for which recommendations were developed to address.
“We have been impressed by the level of interest and support expressed by the public and voluntary sector agencies of the area. We believe that the concept of a community hub has been given a ringing endorsement by the agencies, especially as, for many, it may mean they would be able to operate in the 10 parishes’ area without the need for a permanent presence or a substantial investment”
“Building Links” Recommendations (of which the key ones are listed here) included:
• The 10 Parishes Centre Steering Group (10PCSG) should remain the lead body for Project Development of the Centre
• A Communications Strategy should be developed and implemented that will establish regular and meaningful two-way communications with partners, stakeholders and clients
• Funding is sought for continued project development and coordination and to give the Steering Group a consultation and PR budget