FURNESS COGS (COMMUNITY ORGANISING GREEN SPACE) – UPDATE 19 May 2013

Aim

Our group was formed to improve the condition of the field at Yeardsley Lane and provide a much needed recreational and sporting facility that can be used all year round.

The local community was engaged in a consultation process in 2010, the results of which were published in a Report and delivered at an Open Meeting.  The vision for the field was then incorporated into plans and a 3-D model was made to show how it might look in reality.   These have been exhibited at subsequent Open Meetings and Field Days and have met with the approval of local people.

Progress

This last year has seen some real progress towards our goals, including:-

  • Removal of Planning Restrictions – We were successful in negotiating the removal of planning restrictions which were hampering our efforts.   Whilst these restrictions were in force we were unable to seek any substantial funding.   It was a complicated process but we were delighted that we eventually managed to reach agreement with the parties involved to move our project forward.
  • Negotiating a Lease – Many funders will only consider a grant to organisations which own or lease their own land.  We therefore entered into discussions with High Peak Borough Council to take on a 99 year lease on the field.  We have agreed the heads of terms of the lease and have a letter of intent from the Council.  We are currently awaiting the draft lease for our approval.
  • QE2 Dedication – This is something which we have campaigned for on behalf of our field since the initiative was first announced to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  We are therefore thrilled that we have now been assured by the Leader of HPBC and the Senior Horticultural Officer that this process is now firmly underway.  When the Deed of Dedication is complete our field will be protected forever for the use of recreational and sporting activities.

Funding

The aspirations for the field are very ambitious and require a great deal of fundraising.  The first phase of development, levelling and drainage, will also be the most costly.  However to date we have raised or been promised funding amounting to approximately £20,000.  This includes £5,000 from DCC’s Community Leadership Fund, £2850 HPBC’s Councillors Initiative Fund and £1250 from Fields in Trust.  We have also submitted a major funding application to Sport England and are currently awaiting the result.

It’s your field!

 We have a very hardworking and dedicated committee but we would welcome any offers of help or involvement in the project.  We especially need people with fundraising ideas and the time to put them into practice; and those with professional skills, such as legal expertise.   If you can help in any way with this worthwhile cause, please contact us at furnessvale@gmail.com

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