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Local school and community groups’ designs submitted for national award

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Local school and community groups’ designs submitted for national award


Published by Ailsa Macmillan for Cestria Community Housing in Housing and also in Communities

(L-R) One of the pupils from Nettlesworth Primary School pictured with Stephen Riding (Development Manager at Cestria Community Housing (back)), Beryl Ringland (Chair of SODA), Julie Milne (Resident Liaison Officer at Keepmoat) and Jean Kelly (Crazy for A (L-R) One of the pupils from Nettlesworth Primary School pictured with Stephen Riding (Development Manager at Cestria Community Housing (back)), Beryl Ringland (Chair of SODA), Julie Milne (Resident Liaison Officer at Keepmoat) and Jean Kelly (Crazy for A

County Durham school pupils and local residents are celebrating this week after their artistic designs were selected to be displayed on a flagship development in Chester-le-Street.

Local housing provider, Cestria Community Housing invited local schools and community groups to create designs with an environmental theme that could be displayed around the perimeter of a brand new development currently under construction.

The artwork, which has been designed by children from Nettlesworth Primary School and local community groups, the Crazy for Art group, the Brockwell Centre and the Society of Disabled Artists (SODA), has impressed company bosses so much that they have been entered for a national award.

Cestria Community Housing and their construction partner, Keepmoat has entered the hoardings into the ‘Ivor Goodsitehoarding competition as part of the Considerate Constructors scheme.  

Lisa Coverdale, Customer Relationship Manager at Cestria Community Housing, said: “This is a great example of partnership working where local businesses, schools and community groups have come together to work on a project. Not only does it raise awareness of the development that is being constructed but it also brings together the local community, young and old.

“I would like to thank Keepmoat for giving us the opportunity to work on this project, which improves the physical appearance of the development and also raises the issues of important topics such as the environment, recycling, health and well-being, which are all particularly relevant to this development.

“The designs that the children and the three community groups have designed are fantastic and I would like to congratulate them all for their grand designs.”

The £6.5m Elms development will be a specialist housing scheme for the over 55’s and will consist of 57 new homes.  The development, which lies south west of the town centre on the Garden Farm Estate, will consist of 47 two-bedroom apartments, 4 one-bedroom apartments, 2 two-bedroom detached bungalows and 4 two-bedroom semi-detached bungalows available for rent, or sale on a leasehold or shared ownership basis.

When complete, the scheme will also include a range of communal residential and support spaces within the main block and facilities that can be used by residents and the wider community including a beauty/treatment room, IT suite, internet café, laundry, community allotment and office/community exhibition space.

Mark Kearney, Operations Director at Keepmoat, said: “Our work within the community is more than just bricks and mortar and this project has demonstrated that.  All the designs are wonderful and promote key messages about what this development will be. 

“We have been able to engage with local schools, community groups and residents living near to the site and it is pleasing for them to see their hard work displayed for everyone else to enjoy.”

Each group based their designs on different topics incorporating a nature theme, for example, one group chose recycling with rubbish while another chose wildlife with pictures of animals.

Lee Roberts, Head Teacher at Nettlesworth Primary School, said: “Our Year 6 children really enjoyed the challenge of working on the hoardings art project. They worked together in teams to produce two fantastic pieces of related work on the nature theme.  

“It is amazing for them to be able to see their work displayed in a public place and they are very proud of what they have produced.  It also gives them something to look back on and remember their time at school with us as they move onto secondary school in September.”

Local resident, Betty Barlow who has been a member of Crazy for Art for two years, said: “Everybody put different ideas down and it evolved from there. It’s made a good impact on the development and we centred our ideas on fresh air, good food and relaxation.”

Chester-le-Street Society of Disabled Artists (SODA) is a social group for disabled residents.  Beryl Ringland, Chair of SODA, said: “I think it looks great and it’s good we were invited to take part. It’s nice to see the children taking part too – I think we have all done a great job.”

The Brockwell Centre, which is run by the Pelton Fell Community Partnership (PFCP) involves the community in projects and members of the Junior Youth Club, aged between eight and 13-years-old designed a hoarding.

Gemma Bird, Youth Co-ordinator at the Brockwell Centre, said: “This was a great opportunity for our Junior Youth Club to work as a team and create a piece of artwork that will go on display. The young people enjoyed taking part and were really proud of the finished product.” 

Work commenced on The Elms development earlier this month and is expected to be completed in Spring 2015.


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