The Riverside project cannot end 

 February 2010 A NANTWICH CIVIC SOCIETY PAGE

 

 

 

 

 

A winter view of the River Weaver towards the bridge in Welsh Row. Cheshire East Council has promised to maintain the area, but what about future Nantwich Riverside Projects which will be hit by a cut in funding?

CONCERNED at what will happen to Nantwich's much-improved Riverside after funding was axed, Nantwich Civic Society took up the sword in a battle to save the situation. This is a copy of the letter sent by the society's Chairman (Jeff Stubbs) to the local press in January 2010. He sent me a copy as well.

 

NANTWICH's Civic Society is deeply troubled by the fact that the good work delivered by the much applauded Riverside Project is not only coming to an end, but that all its energy and achievements are now in jeopardy.

   Over the last few years, South Cheshire has benefited massively from the works of the much unsung, but incredibly productive, project which has transformed the Weaver Valley corridor for the local community.

   The Riverside Project has made a massive difference for Nantwich people and their environment. Funded and managed by the erstwhile Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council, this project delivered a wave of energy along the Weaver corridor. Nantwich has definitely felt the difference.

   Local government reorganisation has brought unitary authority status. Cheshire East Council has been refocusing funding and services. The Riverside Project has paid the price and is being cut. In just a few weeks it will be no more. There are no plans, that we are aware of, to ensure that the good work will be protected and the momentum maintained.      

   The Nantwich Civic Society exists to campaign for and support action programmes focused on protecting the town’s unique character. This historic town is the jewel in the crown for the region, and we are rightly proud of the quality of the living environment. That’s why so many people want to live here. And the Riverside Project was proving itself to be at the heart of this mission.

   The Riverside Project has played a significant role in bringing the town’s natural environment alive for local people – creating paths through its beautiful open spaces for everyone to enjoy. It has connected the historic to the natural.

   The list of its achievements is extensive: beautiful flower-filled meadows, willow sculptures; community orchards; ponds and paths, and the graceful new footbridge (left) connecting historic Mill Island direct to stunning Welsh Row.

   The Project has brought people together to protect and enhance their local

 

environment, cutting across the traditional boundaries and disciplines. It has made a direct link between the traditions of our landscape and the built environment. They complement each other. The town’s busy market centre is fed by its natural setting, and the Riverside Project has made this connection vividly come to life.  

   So many people have benefited as they have enjoyed a healthy and invigorating walk by the lake or along the River. It’s about so much more than conservation. The project has helped everyone focus on the historic source of the town’s vibrancy and character.

   We cannot stand by and allow all this energy go to waste. The Nantwich Civic Society, one of the town’s most respected and longstanding community organisations, is calling on Cheshire East Council and our elected representatives to find a way to ensure the good work of the Riverside Project can continue to deliver for local people. We must protect our quality of life.

   It’s not just about Nantwich. That may be our focus, but the Riverside Project was planting seeds of change right through South Cheshire. The project was making the links to quality of life for everyone – wherever open spaces created opportunities for local communities. We cannot afford to loose the energy this project generated has for the area. Our elected representatives have a duty to find a way of harnessing and funding this energy for the future. The people of Nantwich have long memories.

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