Granby future mapped out

Granby Four Streets residents have been finding out about the plans to transform housing in the area.

More than 100 residents attended a special community event at Princes Park Methodist Centre this week to learn more about the £14m collaborative development scheme which will bring more than 100 empty properties back into use.

The interactive event also gave people the chance to share their hopes and aspirations for the future of the area. They shared their thoughts about Granby’s past and present, and what they would like to retain and enhance. This input was used to create a unique, hand-drawn map, capturing the community’s ideas on building a better neighbourhood.

The map displays what residents – past, present and future – believe is important to the successful regrowth of Granby. It will help guide a shared vision of how the area can be developed to support the revitalised housing – from improved public realm and open spaces to the preservation of the neighbourhood’s historical identity.

The event marked the start of the refurbishment work, which is due to get underway in a matter of weeks. 

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Local residents campaigned tirelessly for over 20 years to save the Victorian terraces of ‘the Four Streets’ in Granby, Toxteth from the threat of demolition. As part of their work, a special community spirit thrived amongst the dereliction, the area now boasts a thriving monthly street market and the award winning ‘Bloomin’ Green Triangle’ urban planting project, all thanks to the efforts of remaining residents.

The overall scheme, led by Liverpool City Council, consists of several smaller projects being delivered by different development partners who will be at the event to showcase their designs. Members of the public will have the opportunity to look at detailed housing plans, meet officers and ask questions about the developments.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “This special event gave us the chance to share our vision for the Granby Four Streets with the community and show them how the work of all the all partners fits together. I’m delighted that the event was so well attended by local people, and that we were able to get the community’s ideas on how we can all work together to build a better future for the area.”

Matthew Yates, Secretary of the Granby Four Streets Community Land Trust (CLT) – made up of local residents and stakeholders – said: “Granby is a very special place, where the community is strong, proactive and ambitious for the future. We welcome the present council’s open approach to delivering a shared vision for the area.”

Maggi Howard, Director of Assets and Enterprise at Liverpool Mutual Homes, said: “Granby has a unique character and is made very special by the commitment of its residents. We’re going to be delivering a scheme that saves many of the buildings and will breathe new life into the neighbourhood.

“The event gave residents, local community groups and businesses the opportunity to talk about the plans and have any questions they may have explained in more detail.”

Plus Dane Director of Programme & Partnerships, Louise Davies, said: “Work has been underway to transform the area for some time with Plus Dane’s most recent refurbishment project completing on Beaconsfield Street.

“Plus Dane are committed to delivering further improvements, working collaboratively with local people and this event gave everybody the opportunity to discuss the latest plans and stimulate further debate-so as we continue to transform this area into a neighbourhood of choice for years to come.”

The Granby Four Streets project sees Liverpool City Council; Liverpool Mutual Homes; Plus Dane Group; The Granby Community Land Trust (CLT); the Northern Alliance Housing Co-op and other partners working together to refurbish properties on Beaconsfield Road, Cairns Street, Ducie Street and Jermyn Street.

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 Transforming Granby Four Streets

● A range of funding is now in place to deliver the Granby Four Streets refurbishment programme, including ‘Cluster of Empty Homes’ and ‘Empty Homes Round 2’ grants, and funding from the Registered Housing Providers. In addition the CLT and the Co-op have secured private finance and Nationwide Foundation funding for the delivery of their schemes.

● In total, it secures over £13.7million investment for the Granby area and will bring at least 110 properties back into use by 2015, including 99 vacant council-owned properties.

● The pioneering Homes for a Pound scheme will also support the work to bring empty properties back into use, with the first £1 house allocated on Cairns Street last October, and more expected to be announced in the area this year.

● The Granby Four Streets vision supports the Mayor’s aim to bring 1,000 empty properties back into use by 2016. It is also supporting his priority to create 20,000 jobs for local people, by securing new employment and training opportunities within the construction sector.

Main image: Cllr Ann O’Byrne (centre) joins the Granby Four Streets partners at the special community event