19 December 2016

A path of daffodils, a pond brought back to its former glory, a bog garden, a sculpture and a community orchard are all local projects in Urmston receiving funding from United Utilities.

United Utilities’ community investment fund, United Futures, run in partnership with community charity, Groundwork, has awarded £48,000 to seven community projects located close to its Davyhulme wastewater treatment works - one of the biggest in the UK.

The seven community projects receiving investment are:

·  Broadway Park - to create a community orchard. 

· Golden Hill Park - for a mass bulb planting to brighten up the park.

· Christ Church Community Garden - to extend the garden, create a bog garden, more seating and improve its habitats, including a bug hotel.

· Cheeky Cherubs community learning centre - to install netting across its roof terrace so it can be used for ball games.

· Mossfield Allotments - to bring its pond back to its former glory.

· Davyhulme Park - to create a new sculpture.

· A Groundwork training and assistance programme for community groups in Davyhulme.

This latest community investment in Urmston is part of United Utilities’ £200 million project to refurbish and improve its Davyhulme wastewater treatment works so that it returns a better growing population of Manchester.

Keith Haslett, from United Utilities, said: “We want to be a good neighbour and believe it’s important to play an active part in the communities where we operate, and where our customers and employees live and work, as they’re vital to our business.

“We recognise the effect that our operations have upon the community, and environment, which is why we invest in local projects that support those affected. Our aim is to invest in schemes that improve quality of life, promote healthy living and which can continue to be enjoyed by the local community long after our engineering works are completed,” he added.

Maura Carey, from Friends of Golden Hill Park, said: “We’re absolutely delighted about the grant, excited about planting the bulbs and can’t wait to get started.”

Sue Wilkinson, managing director of Cheeky Cherubs, said: “Receiving this funding, for a safety net, will make our roof space useable for a wide range of activities and means we can hire it out to sports clubs to help us become financially sustainable in the long term.

Chris Turner, secretary of Mossfield Allotments, said: “The pond was always the pride and joy of the allotment and we’re excited about being able to returning it to its former glory.”

Terry Morford of Christ Church Community Garden, said: “We’re delighted to get this grant which will mean we can develop the garden so that it’s as appealing to older people as it is to children.”

As part of this community investment, Groundwork is also offering other interested community groups, in the Davyhulme area, special training and assistance.

Liz Edwards, from Groundwork, explained: “Thanks to the funding from United Utilities, we’re delighted to be able to offer practical training to community projects in the Davyhulme area and would like them to get in touch and let us know what training they would like. We can offer a range of support from developing a project idea, and fundraising, to everything you need to know about how to manage your garden and grow your own food.”

International engineering company, Laing O’Rourke, which is involved in the modernisation project at Davyhulme, is also working in partnership with United Utilities to add economic and social benefits to the local community. This includes using local suppliers and employing local people, where possible, on the site, providing opportunities for young people, through apprentice and work experience schemes, and working closely with local schools and colleges.

Davyhulme wastewater treatment works opened in 1894 and drains the entire western side of Manchester from Chadderton in the north to Bramhall in the south. The works handles everything flushed away by 1.2 million people and businesses, including Trafford Park, the largest industrial park in Europe.