Reviving Rowner Estate in Gosport
Published by Debbie Pack for Home Group in Housing and also in Communities
Cleaning up at Rowner
The Rowner estate in Gosport, Hampshire is home to over 4000 people and its centre is currently undergoing a multi-million pound regeneration programme by The Rowner Renewal Partnership.
This involves the demolition of 500 run down properties and the creation of a new regenerated estate providing over 700 modern homes, a new supermarket, community square and smaller retail units which will provide local employment opportunities. Work has commenced on the first of eight phases and is expected to complete by 2017.
To build and help establish a new community spirit, First Wessex (part of the Rowner Renewal Partnership) recently joined in partnership with housing association Home Group who manage 224 homes on Rowner and A2 Dominion to organise a series of highly successful events held over the first weekend in September. The aims of the events were to help bring people together and make them more aware of the local support groups and amenities in the area.
Paul Wilson-Suffield, Housing Officer for Home Group (based in Havant) who organised the events explains: “The weekend was a real success. Half of Rowner estate is being regenerated which is why we thought it was important to do something big that brings the whole community together. We wanted to reassure those not part of the regeneration plans that improvements can be made simply by becoming better neighbours and taking pride in their environment.”
Paul managed to secure nearly £6,000 of funding from Gosport Borough Council and worked closely with each partnering agent to host the events. This included staff from First Wessex, Gosport Borough Council, six private management companies formed by residents, Police, Youth Groups and volunteers from all over Rowner estate.
Cllr Tony Jessop who attended the event said: “Residents and volunteers were running around trying to help previously unknown neighbours collect up their rubbish and helping them to carry it to the skips. It gave me a really good feeling to have had more than a dozen people come up to me to say “thank you”, indeed, most asked when we were going to do it again
It is at times like these that we see the best in people and the whole community appreciates how much benefit can be derived from a bit of teamwork and helping each other. Genuine thanks to all concerned.”
John Minshull, Director of the St Nicholas Avenue Residents Co Ltd, said: “It is easy to overlook just how much has been achieved by so few people in one day. To clean up a small town like Rowner using only volunteers, together with generously donated funds and resources, is an example many communities throughout the country would do well to emulate. Paul Wilson-Suffield deserves congratulating for his organisational vision and effort, without which nothing would have happened … I saw him running around like a mad thing today and I understand that he and his team moved some 25 van loads of white goods to the tip … Well done indeed.”
Activities over the weekend included:
A swap shop in the local Community Centre (Nimrod Centre). Residents could bring along items they would normally throw away and swap them for items they could use instead. One of the Nimrod Centre staff was qualified to PAT test electrical items before they were swapped, hosted by Jacky Charman.
Events aimed at young people also took place in the Nimrod Centre. They were able to recycle old clothing and created a specially designed ‘Rowner’ quilt. Lessons were given on how to use a sewing machine and make jewellery. A project was also launched to find ‘young hero's’ of the area.
The Rowner Youth Group "Mix Up" working with the Police and Groundwork Solent carried out a very productive litter pick filling over 30 refuse bags with litter. The group then created a sculpture from the litter.
Throughout the Saturday Gosport Borough Council donated funds for 25 skips positioned all around the estate for both private and social housing residents to use. By the end of the day every skip was filled to the brim.
Home Group Staff were granted free access to the Hampshire County Council Amenity Tip for the day. Participants made 25 trips to the tip in Home Group vans filled with white goods and televisions. The televisions are being recycled and sent to Africa.
Home Group’s office based on the estate was open for the whole weekend so that residents could pop in to report repairs or discuss other housing related issues.
If you would like more information please contact:
Harvest PR, Consultant for the Rowner Renewal Partnership
On 02392 449655 or 07960 888494
Debbie Pack, PR Officer
Home (South and Central)
T: 020 8582 2203
M: 07985 339551
More about the ongoing regeneration of Rowner estate
All of the members of The Rowner Renewal Partnership are leaders in community regeneration and providers of quality homes:
First Wessex is a respected local association with a strong track record of success in community development and regeneration. First Wessex manages 1400 homes in Gosport of mixed tenure for rent and shared ownership. It has a significant stake in Rowner and is a well respected landlord, well placed to manage the outcomes of the regeneration.
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the single, national housing and regeneration agency for England. We bring together English Partnerships, investment functions of the Housing Corporation, and the Academy for Sustainable Communities, with major delivery programmes of Communities and Local Government.
Our role is to create opportunity for people to live in high quality, sustainable places. We provide funding for affordable housing, bring land back into productive use and improve quality of life by raising standards for the physical and social environment.
Gosport Borough Council is the accountable body for the citizens of Gosport and speaks on behalf of the whole community. The redevelopment of the Rowner Village is a significant priority for the Council. They wish to work closely with their residents to ensure that within Rowner a cohesive and sustainable community is maintained. The Council has long supported community development and projects in Rowner and has assembled the team to get things done.
Hampshire County Council has played a key leadership role in facilitating the Partnership. It has committed specialist project management and financial support and secured the political will, at regional and national levels, for the regeneration of Rowner. It is the accountable body for the citizens of Hampshire and takes the strategic view for long term benefit. On the project their responsibilities include issues affecting roads, transport and regeneration.
Taylor Wimpey UK is a part of Taylor Wimpey plc. As well as operating in the UK, Taylor Wimpey plc builds homes in North America, Spain and Gibraltar. It aims to be the homebuilder of choice for customers, employees, shareholders and for the communities in which it operates. Taylor Wimpey builds a range of properties across the UK, from one bedroom apartments and starter homes up to large detached family houses. For further information please visit www.taylorwimpey.co.uk/alver
For further information about the Rowner Regeneration Project please visit www.rownerrenewal.com
The Rowner Enquiry Line is open from Monday to Thursday 9 am to 5pm and on Friday from 9 am to 4.30pm. Tel: 08450 343317
Home was established in 1935, in response to the deprivations faced in the North East during the Depression. Seventy five years on, we continue to adapt to changing economic conditions.
We are proud of our heritage and our people and strive to bring neighbourhoods to life, shaping them into great places to live and work. Customers are at the heart of everything we do and are actively involved in deciding what we do and how we do it at both management and community level.
Over 4,500 people work at Home Group, supporting over 200,000 customers in 55,000 homes. We help over 20,000 clients in 520 support schemes across England and Scotland.
Home Group was the first housing association to raise private finance and one of the first to recognise the difference that affordable housing can make to rural communities. We were a key player in the early development of neighbourhood management, supporting whole communities and have been leaders in care and support since 1976
Our ultimate aim is that by working together with our customers, clients and partners we are able to offer improved quality, better value, increased choice, opening doors to better lives.
Home has a well-established development and regeneration function, producing 800 new homes per year.
Home manages nearly 15,000 properties in its south region, through a network of 14 regional offices. Properties Home provides are a mix of rented, shared ownership, leasehold and leasehold schemes for older people.
Home manages over 1600 homes in Hampshire through its regional office based in Havant.