2007 has seen important changes for the Cranmore Regeneration Project in terms of the size, scope and shape of the project, with a number of key developments which will influence the Regeneration Projects Plans for 2008.
Over 2007 Sligo Borough Council has made a series of submissions to the Department of Environment Heritage and Local government resulting in approval for a number of projects. These include; funding for the development of sports facilities at Cleveragh; approval for the acquisition and demolition of the Centre Block; the redevelopment of the mounds and funding for the redevelopment of Cranmore Place. The approval of these projects by the Department is a major boost for the Regeneration project as the process of implementation can commence. Plans are currently being developed for each of these projects.
Many of the projects delivered on by Sligo Borough Council in 2007 were identified through the consultation for the Regeneration Project over the past three years. One such initiative was a series of Traffic Calming Measures delivered by the Council’s Roads section and the delivery of a Central Heating programme for our tenants delivered by the Housing Maintenance Section. 2007 also saw the completion of the first phase of a pilot refurbishment programme which saw the conversion of 13 previously derelict houses into state-of-the-art family homes.
While there has been progress in relation to a variety of projects, the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government has emphasized the importance of integrating Cranmore into the wider hinterland, in the context of development of Sligo as a Gateway City.
A revised Masterplan will be produced will address the wider issues impacting on the regeneration of Cranmore, in particular in relation to linkages between the estate and the surrounding environs. The plan should take into account the broader planning objectives for the area, including the proposed bridge and distributor route linking the Eastern parts of the City.
In recognition of the need to take an interagency approach to the quality of life issues which affect people on a daily basis, a Social Regeneration Plan devised by the Social Working Group was completed in September 2007. Preparation of the plan included both community representatives and all of the key public and community based providers which deliver services that impact on quality of life issues in Cranmore.
The plan includes objectives in relation to education, employment, community development, family supports, housing and estate management, crime and policing, opportunities for young people and sport and recreation. It examines the services and programmes which are already in place and how these existing resources can be integrated to maximize their impact.
The Regeneration Project has successfully applied for funding from the Sustaining Communities Fund in order to implement a number of important elements of the Social Plan over the next three years including a Community Wardens Scheme, A Youth Development Programme and a Tenancy Sustainment Support Officer. These programmes will be delivered in partnership with other local agencies. It is also proposed in 2008 to organise a series of localised sport and recreation initiatives in conjunction with Sligo Sports and Recreation Partnership and other agencies in order to promote healthy lifestyles and positive participation in community activities.
Community Development is a core element of the Cranmore Social Plan and the Regeneration Team is committed to supporting local based community organisations in their efforts to improve the quality of life in the area. The Regeneration Office liaises closely with the Cranmore Community Co-operative to ensure that the Community is kept up to date with the latest Regeneration News. Over 2007 a number of Community Development and Estate Management Initiatives have been supported by SBC Regeneration Project. The Regeneration Office has provided support to the Cranmore Community Co-operative, the Resource House Project, Abbeyquarter Centre and the various residents associations to deliver on a number of projects and events to enhance the area. Amongst these were Best Kept Garden Competitions, support for Community Carnivals and Family events, training support for Community representatives, support for resident’s association environmental initiatives, minor structural enhancements, high quality signage and planters/floral barrels to enhance the area.
A Community Safety Taskforce has been established under the auspices of the Social Working Group in order to monitor and implement a number of the objectives in the social plan in relation to Crime and Policing. This working group has been highly instrumental in relation to promoting interagency co-operation in relation to community safety and is facilitated by the RAPID Co-ordinator and Estate Officer. It involves local Gardai, HSE, Emergency Services, Sligo Borough Council and local Community Representatives.
Sligo Borough Council is in the process of establishing a Regeneration Agency to drive the Regeneration project and to galvanise agencies at local level to ensure that interventions in the Regeneration area are focused on a common aim. This agency will be charged with addressing the strategic planning objectives in the area, in addition to responding to social and community issues identified and emerging.