Collyhurst Big Local is a partnership of tenants, businesses, schools and agencies, with a vision to improve the quality of life in Collyhurst. The area is located immediately north of Manchester city centre.
If you come into Manchester by bus, train or car from Rochdale you will pass through the entire length of Collyhurst, but you probably wouldn't notice. There are no prominent signs to welcome you, no shopping centre, no important public buildings, no imposing Victorian church or modern day mosque, no multiplex cinema or even a bingo hall. No pubs. Just estates of houses and flats with their backs turned to the main road and the railway, interspersed with cleared sites which for the most part have been grassed over and left.
So you might think that Collyhurst has no identity, no community and nothing much going for it. You would be wrong. Of course we have our problems, and very big problems some of them are. But we have a lot of strengths too. It's just that most of them are hidden from view. Sometimes literally – from the wonderful landscape of the Irk Valley to well-used community-run play areas right down to the beautifully maintained gardens of many houses and small, informal public spaces on the estates. Other things could never be seen. You can't take a photograph of caring, commitment and leadership but we have all three in Collyhurst. Not as much as we need or would like, but enough to build on.
A million pounds may sound at first like a lot of money but it barely scratches the surface in terms of physical transformations, especially spread over a ten year period. The big question for Big Local is how to use this money intelligently, in ways that attract other investments, alter images and change lives for the better.