Identified earlier this year by the Guardian as being one of the most depressing places to live, Brinnington and its community groups have come together to dispel this miss-conception with the opening of a new community space – The Hub.
The brain child of Equity Housing Group and jointly funded by their Equity Foundation initiative alongside Kier Housing Maintenance and designed by Bowker and Sadler Architects, the space is designed to tackle the underlying issues in the Stockport suburb head on.
As highlighted in the report, Brinnington, similar to so many small communities on the outskirts of larger towns, suffers from high levels of unemployment, health inequalities, and social isolation, whilst bearing the brunt of the Government’s continuing benefit cuts.
By launching The Hub in partnership with the Big Local, we are ensuring that the space will be used for the community and led by the community. Big Local is about bringing together local talents, ambitions, skills and energy from local residents and partners who want to make the area a better place to live. Alongside the Big Local, The Hub will also work with Groundwork in Greater Manchester who are the locally trusted organisation, commissioned by The Big Local steering group, to assist project delivery in Brinnington. Groundworks role is to facilitate community ideas and support the development of sustainable projects.
The space will also be used regularly by a number of supporting organisations, such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau local community groups and Equity’s own Money Advice Teams, to offer advice, support and guidance to the tight knit community, giving them the opportunity and the space to thrive. Something that Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham has been very vocal with his support of and community spaces like The Hub need to go hand in hand with his ‘A bed for the night’ initiative – tackling the route of these social issues before they are able to escalate further.
Officially opening the new community space, Mr Burnham commented:
“The community spirit in Brinnington is felt from the minute you get here and The Hub is exactly what that spirit is all about. Empowering the community and the people who live there, to get involved and have a say in how things are developed, shouldn’t come from the top – it should come from the people who will use it.
“Brinnington is the model for this and others should follow suit – their community spirit is overwhelming and I am proud to support such communities in Greater Manchester.”
Key to the design of The Hub were the local residents and listening to their wants and needs, with a number of Brinnington’s many community groups involved in the project from its conception.
Jo McGrath, Social Impact Business Development Manager, Equity Housing Group, said ‘The Hub has been a long time in the making and something that we feel will be a huge benefit to the local community of Brinnington, as well as helping to serve the wider Stockport community. It was obvious that we needed to get as many local people as possible involved in the project if we were to make a lasting impact – I’m pleased we’ve achieved that’.
Paul Clarke, Operations Manager for Kier Housing Maintenance added “Being involved in The Hub has given us the opportunity to work alongside local people who will continue to benefit from this project. It looks fantastic and allows Kier to leave a lasting legacy in Brinnington.”
The Hub will be open to the local community Monday – Friday and on a number of weekends with a number of support services available. If you would like any further information about The Hub and its services, please visit http://brinningtonbiglocal.co.uk/