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£50m Help Gives Residents New Energy

Residents of four neighbouring Coventry suburbs are working with the city council to spend £50 million to improve their environment.

The 12,000 people who live in Manor Park, Wood End, Deedmore Road and Henley Green have answered the call with such enthusiasm that they have already identified 180 potential projects to improve their areas.

The four districts are bracketed as Coventry's 'New Deal for Communities' area, into which will be injected £5 million a year for the next ten years to improve properties, the environment and to upgrade facilities.

The 'New Deal' will be supported by the Area Co-ordination and will use an office to be set up in the area.

The energy and commitment of local residents has already been praised by Government Minister Jeff Rooker on his recent visit to the New Deal area.

An urgent start will be made to tidy up the appearances of 750 vacant properties to make them more attractive to prospective tenants and work will start within a few months to demolish most of the derelict blocks of flats that are considered to be blots on the landscape.

Steve Spreadborough, chairman of New Deal for Communities Task Group, said:

"The response has been amazing.  I have always suspected that there is a big reservoir of good feeling among residents for these areas and this response confirms it.

"We formed task groups to identify projects and our next step is to decide which can be started in the first three years.

“We can already tidy up gardens of empty houses, which have become rubbish dumps, so that the properties will attract people into the area.

"Other issues which can be implemented quickly include the provision of drop kerbs for wheelchair users and a shuttle bus service to help residents to get into and out of the city centre.

"In the long term we want to build a leisure centre which could become a focal point in the area.

"Most importantly, everything we are doing will be community-based and we can assure people that we are carefully evaluating every suggestion put to us."

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CWN / Coventry City Council / Area Coordination / 9 Feb 01
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