Mayor to view Norris Green progress

The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, is to visit Norris Green to look at new developments taking place there.

His visit comes a year after he toured the estate in the wake of the murder of local man Joseph Thompson.

During the Mayor’s visit on Wednesday 26 June, he will launch work on a new  shopping and housing development, call in at Ellergreen Community Centre and look at developments  in Scargreen Park.

“I went to Norris Green last year, during what was a very traumatic period for the community, ” said Mayor Anderson.

“I’ve spoken to so many people from Norris Green who feel their neighbourhood’s reputation has been unfairly tarnished. These developments show the real face of Norris Green, and it shows our confidence in the strong local community that exists here.

“I know that the local community have been involved in some great initiatives in the last year and there are some exciting developments taking place. I am looking forward to seeing them and showing the true face of Norris Green.”

The Mayor will get work under way at a £8m development in Landford Avenue, Sparrow Hall. This is the first significant investment in the area for many years, and has come about through an innovative partnership between the Council, which has transferred the land, social enterprise Neighbourhood Services Company (NSC) who are building and managing the retail units and Cobalt Housing who are building 68 new properties.

NSC is a local community enterprise, which employs local people and has created 70 local apprenticeships recently, two of whom are working on this project. The building has been financed by a £500k investment from Social Investment Business.

There will be five shops, three let to business owners from Sparrow Hall, including a convenience store, café and a barber’s. The remaining unit will be used by Hope University with Cobalt and Alt Valley Community support, as a base for community social work placements, adult learning and a youth and community activities. This will be the first community centre in Sparrow Hall for a generation.

NSC Chief Executive Phil Knibb said|:”NSC is delighted to be part of this development that has stimulated much needed investment in this corner of Norris Green. Our employment of local people shows NSC’s commitment to the long term support for the community and will employ more in other ventures in and around the area in the future.”

As a result of the development of the retail units, Cobalt Housing, part of Symphony Housing Group, is committing in the region of £6 million of its own money to build 68 units of one and two bedroomed properties. These increase the capacity of the housing stock to accommodate people, who cannot afford three bedroomed properties.

Ann Louise Gilmore, Property Services Director at Cobalt Housing said: “”The development at Landford Avenue is part of a major investment in the area which is great news for North Liverpool. Not only will it provide new homes for local people, but it will transform previously derelict land and significantly improve our communities.”

Mayor Anderson will also visit Scargreen Park, where a new play area is being created . The park is becoming a focal point for community activities and is the venue for an annual carnival.  He will also visit Ellergreen Community Centre and St Philomena’s School to meet local community representatives.

Local Councillor Barry Kushner, said; “This shows what can happen when the community, councillors, housing associations and community partners work together. It’s great that the Mayor will see the progress that has been made in Norris Green over the last year especially as a lot of initiatives are being led by the local community. There is a pride in the  area and a real community spirit along with exciting new developments.”

Councillor Alan Walker, said ‘I well remember the old Landford Shopping Parade and how depressing it was, this re-development is bringing back much missed community facilities and will lift the whole area’

Pictured: An image of the new development at Landford Avenue