The Gaunless Gateway Partnership is a resident led proactive organisation in South-West Bishop Auckland, representing the communities of Cockton Hill, Henknowle, Woodhouse Close/Tindale Crescent, St Helens and West Auckland, some of the most deprived wards in County Durham. It came together to identify the needs and aspirations of these local communities and to agree how best to use the Big Local fund.
The story so far...
From 2011 to 2013 the Partnership consulted widely with local community groups and organisations and produced an Area Profile. This clearly identified the need to make a positive and lasting impact on the area and help tackle the community’s priorities for:
- Creating new jobs,
- Improving health and wellbeing,
- Addressing crime and community safety,
- Activities for children and young people
- Bringing different generations together.
At the same time other key projects have been identified for Bishop Auckland including developments at Auckland Castle; further retail space and a cinema at Tindale Crescent; the creation of business space at the Laurel Building, King James Academy; and further development of the Weardale Railway.
We want to help local people take full advantage of the major employment and training opportunities provided by these developments. They will have a major impact on the quality of life in the local community and we want to make sure people in the Big Local area benefit from them.
We have already run a successful small grants scheme that saw 5 local groups receive grants of between £270 and £1,000: Henknowle Community Association, Bishop Auckland Netball Club, the Four Clocks Club, West Auckland Juniors FC and Bishop Auckland St Mary’s Juniors FC.
We also made a special request to Santa for him to visit the Big Local area and he kindly agreed. He flew in on his sleigh on 16th December 2014 and was greeted by over 1,000 residents including many excited children!
These are just the first of many similar projects that we plan to deliver over the coming years, but we are always looking for residents to tell us more about what they want to see.