PEOPLE living in an area of Uttoxeter set for a £1 million windfall over the next 10 years are being urged to come together to make sure the money provides a ‘long-term legacy’ for the community.
It was revealed earlier this month that the Heath area of Uttoxeter has been awarded Big Local Area status by the lottery fund and will receive ‘at least’ £1 million in lottery funding.
The scheme is completely resident-led so it will be entirely up to people living in the area how the money will be spent.
Uttoxeter Community Action Group invited the town’s Big Local rep Paul Lusk to talk to their December meeting last week.
He told them the aim of the scheme was to ‘achieve a massive and lasting difference’ making the area a ‘better place to live’.
He said: “At the moment we are just trying to make people aware of it.
“Then we will look at forming a partnership and then make a plan.
“It is resident-led with no council involvement. There is also no government money, it’s lottery, which gives a lot more freedom and security.
“The emphasis is on what the residents want to see and on investment.
“We are not just looking at good things to spend money on but things that we can have confidence in that can make a lasting change.
“I want to get this message across to everyone in the community so when we start going live people are aware of what is going on.”
The Heath is one of 150 across small urban and rural communities across the country which have been awarded a total of £200 million in investment.
The money has been awarded to the Heath area of Uttoxeter and a map has been drawn up showing the exact area covered (see picture).
However, Mr Lusk told the action group that the boundary was not that strict.
He said: “I’m not too hung up on the boundary.
“If people want to bring in other people from surrounding areas or invest in things out of the area that they are confident will bring benefits to the Heath area that is fine.”
One such idea raised by the action group which it felt could benefit from the funding was encouraging start-up businesses in the Heath area.
Treasurer of the group John Titlow said he hoped this money can bring positive benefits to the area.
He said: “I have always wanted to see us develop a sense of identity in Uttoxeter and I think we can through something like this.
“It is useful to know that it is not impossible that we can improve areas outside the Heath ward if it still delivers benefits to the area.”
Mr Lusk said he hopes that by the spring or early summer next year he can start doing ‘drop-in’s and visionising’ events to get ideas before then setting up a formal partnership.
The Big Local scheme was launched by the Big Lottery Fund in 2010 with the aim of supporting rural and urban communities to come together to make their areas even better places to live.
More information is available at www.localtrust.org.