“Identifies the needs of local communities and aims to provide
solutions for a safe and practical living environment.”
With housing being an issue that is very much at the forefront in the minds of both the Local Authority and Central Government, Groundwork Erewash Valley has been working to establish close links with housing associations, social housing companies and housing estates, as well as local communities.
All housing estates are a product of both the built environment and the people who live there. Our work on housing estates begins with a community consultation, to ascertain the needs of estate residents. This is followed by a series of cross-cutting projects to help realise the needs of the local community.
Groundwork projects are as diverse as the communities that make the areas we work across. They range from physical environmental improvements to creating youth groups that encourage inclusion and bring a positive contribution from young people towards their local community.
Groundwork has been working with Amber Valley Housing Association since its creation in 2002. The partnership began when Amber Valley Housing Ltd was part of Amber Valley Borough Council and the department employed Groundwork to deliver their estate improvement programme, with annual budgets of up to £175,000.
Groundwork is currently helping the Housing Association to introduce a system of qualitative evaluation, which will ascertain the success of each project against different criteria to those normally employed.
Groundwork is currently looking at different ways of collecting the data, including the distribution of pre-paid postcards, and employing digital media techniques.
Groundwork works closely with Tenant Liaison Groups to identify the needs of the local community and to identify possible improvement schemes.
Groundwork staff present possible Landscape Solutions to the tenants, and discuss sketch designs before the final designs are produced. Projects are delivered on time and within budget and to the highest quality.
Landscape Architects at Groundwork are also used to working as part of a multi-disciplinary team with architects, planners, engineers and quantity surveyors. Often, the Estate Improvements budget is woven into extensive refurbishment and modernisation programmes and forms an integral part of the estate ‘makeovers’. By having a representation on the design teams, Groundwork can ensure that the landscape works can run alongside or follow immediately on from the architectural works, to minimise disturbance to the tenants and ensuring that the external environment matches the quality of the internal one.
Community Safety Programmes
This year (2004-05), Groundwork has helped secure additional funding through the Home Office to carry out Community Safety works in partnership with AVHL and the Police. ‘Operation Gate It’ is designed to fund extensive consultation with residents on all aspects of safety and security, and provide match funding for physical improvement works, which address these issues.