Key features of this area of the programme have included new high quality housing developments, environmental improvements across the area and neighbourhood management projects including the creation of the community wardens and the Clean Team.
Three major new housing schemes have been created in the area with the help of two Housing Focus and Issues Groups - one for Edge Hill and one for Holt Road. These groups – mainly consisting of community representatives – have played a key role in ensuring that the new housing meets the specific needs of local residents.
In total, the three schemes will eventually create around 400 high-quality new homes in the area. They include a 126-property Bellway Homes site at Tunnel Road. At this development, when the properties were released for sale, residents affected by housing clearance in Kensington were given a priority purchasing period. And Kensington Regeneration also worked closely with Bellway and Liverpool City Council to ensure that the homes were offered at affordable prices to local people.
The other schemes are at Lomond Road/Grampian Road and at Gilead Street where developers Lovell are creating 175 homes including 45 for rent, 24 for shared ownership and 106 for outright sale. Kensington Regeneration has played a big part in this project by funding environmental projects in the area to the tune of £400,000.
The Partnership’s other environmental schemes have included a major programme of improvements to the Clint and Crosfield estates which saw local residents benefiting from new drives, gates and fences as well as widespread tree planting and landscaping.
In Kensington Fields, an area of traditional late nineteenth century terraced houses which was recently given conservation area status, Kensington Regeneration has helped to fund a range of sympathetic improvements including Victorian-style lighting and iron railings and renovated front walls. Similar improvements have been made to public areas in the Edge Hill conservation area.
In the Fairfield and Holly Road neighbourhoods housing and environmental improvements in the Cheviot Street, Middleton Street and Lindale Street area resulted n a significant increase in local property prices.
Kensington Regeneration has also helped to fund a programme of improvements to the retail facilities in the New Deal area.
More than 80 shops have been upgraded with new frontages and signs, new lighting and other improvements to the building facades, with some also benefiting from the introduction of customer parking areas.
Another important ‘green’ development in the area has been the creation of Birchfield Community Park. The hard work of residents in the Fairfield Environmental Group resulted in funding being obtained from Kensington Regeneration to create a multi-use games area, playground and garden.
In its final year Kensington Regeneration has just one major physical development project to complete. This is the new Beech Street complex at the former ice rink and bingo hall site on the corner with Prescot Road.
This ambitious scheme will include shops and offices as well as 50 apartments. In addition, the centre will incorporate a new fire station with community facilities to replace the area’s ageing Low Hill premises.
Kensington Regeneration has also supported local efforts to tackle litter, rubbish, fly tipping, grotspots, vandalism and graffiti. Local people have set the agenda for this work via the Neighbourhood Services Task Group which includes two resident representatives from each of Kensington’s five areas.
Kensington’s team of 14 community wardens have been at the forefront of implementing this part of the programme. As well as providing information and advice to residents on their street patrols they are always on the lookout for problems of vandalism and graffiti which they then report to the relevant agencies.
Kensington Regeneration also helped to create the Kensington Clean Team as an important new resource for the area. The team has operated across Kensington, cleaning up grotspots, removing fly-tipped rubbish and maintaining open spaces.
In just one 12-month period members of the Clean Team cut grass equivalent to the size of 30 football pitches, picked up litter which would have covered a further 248 pitches and removed enough rubbish to fill 821 large skips.
In addition, they removed 1,882 dumped tyres, 736 pieces of furniture, 48 gas bottles, 95 fridges, 34 cookers and 43 washing machines!
To support the work of the Clean Team Kensington Regeneration has funded a number of community clean-ups and also community skips which are placed in various locations around the NDC area’s five neighbourhoods once a month.
The partnership has also worked closely with Liverpool City Council on measures to tackle the problem of rats, installing new litter bins in the area and ensuring that local sewers were baited regularly to reduce the rodent population.
Kensington Regeneration has also made funding available, via an environmental grant scheme, to help community groups implement small-scale ‘green’ improvements at local level.