Kirkholt set to receive Community Investment

December 7, 2009 12:00 AM

Councillor Dale Mulgrew and Paul Rowen MPThe Kirkholt estate in Rochdale been selected as part of a government programme to connect communities who have been affected by the recession.

The programme is part of a nationwide £12m initiative to improve deprived neighbourhood areas in the country.

Kirkholt has been identified as a long standing priority area, due to high levels of burglaries and youth crime in the neighbourhood. Around 100 areas with similar problems to Kirkholt have been identified as key priority areas and will be the focus of a targeted programme of trying to equip communities with better resources, and trying to alleviate problems such as crime and anti-social behaviour.

Kirkholt has around 3,000 houses which are predominantly occupied by white working class communities. In recent years, African and Asian families have move onto the estate, resulting in a number of low level reports regarding race related problems.

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen welcomed the news and said: "I'm really pleased that Rochdale has secured this investment for one of the most deprived areas in the country. There are a lot of problems affecting the community of Kirkholt and the government has finally recognised that something needs to be done. It's all very well to plough money into estates, but I hope that results can be achieved to improve the quality of life in Kirkholt."

The government hopes the investment in Kirkholt will empower local communities to take more control over their lives and for Kirkholt to have better resources help local people.

The initiative is part of a wider scheme to improve the quality of life for residents on the estate. The area is already being targeted through the Housing Market Renewal scheme which is a programme to rebuild houses in deprived and socially inactive areas.

The programme will focus on key areas which have been highlighted as concerns on the estate. Poorly maintained housing, levels of economically inactive people and a low skills base are the areas which will be targeted through the scheme.

Dale Mulgrew, Councillor for Balderstone and Kirkholt said: "Kirkholt has suffered some major setbacks over the years, which has led to a decline of the estate, and this has not been helped by the current recession. But we look to the future, and this much needed investment will assist in pulling together and spotlighting the good work going on throughout the estate, whilst at the same time exposing where we are not hitting the target in helping the community."