The Old Stables in Wilmslow is one of our few remaining historic buildings, and yet it has been unused for many years. Cheshire East Council has recently advertised that the building is available for rent. Members of the Wilmslow Trust and Transition Wilmslow visited the building, and have ascertained that the building is generally quite sound, but would require some renovation and repair to make it usable.
An outline bid has now been made to Cheshire East to transform the stables into a Community Hub. There is space for a meeting room that could seat 30-40 people, which would also be a fantastic exhibition space for information on our local heritage (Lindow Man and Alan Turing), a venue for the town’s very successful Art Trail and for local artists and makers to exhibit and sell their work. There’s even plumbing and a small kitchen area, together with room for an office and storage.
It is perfectly situated, on the walking route from the station to the town and has good access to buses and car parks. It is also on one level, so ideal for people with disabilities. It could form the focal point of a revitalised corner of the Rectory Fields/Alderley Road with opportunities for environmental improvement to adjacent areas and where there is also a proposal from the Wilmslow Trust for a memorial to Alan Turing.
The first question people ask is “where’s the money coming from?” Clearly local councils have no money for this sort of project, but there are good examples of community ownership and fundraising. People in Poynton recently raised a very significant sum for refurbishment of their community space by crowd funding, and Styal have a thriving community shop (Earlam’s) as a result of a similar strategy. One possibility is that we raise funds through Community Shares (www.communityshares.org.uk) .
An outline bid has been submitted by members of Transition Wilmslow and the Wilmslow Trust to Cheshire East Council this week in time for today’s closing date. The proposal will need further input from everyone in the community, who can contribute ideas, time and skills as well as funding. There may also be local organisations who might want to help with some of the building and restoration. Outline plans were presented to the Wilmslow Partnership meeting this week who are supportive because this proposal fits well with ideas for a proposed Neighbourhood Plan.
We’d really like to know what you think and hear your ideas for a Wilmslow Community Hub. This needs to be a real community initiative, with people contributing their ideas. It will only work if local people want it to. We will let you know how Cheshire East respond, and we will keep you informed of developments as they happen.
The December Newsletter from the Transition Network is now available (here) …
Inside reports from COP21 and starting our exploration of ways to re-tell the Transition Story headline this month’s newsletter. We also hear of research on Inner Transition in Canada, REconomy goes to Wigan, you can listen to a new Transition song from SWIMBY and recalling the cold winter of 1963. Plus a Training update and book reviews.
The Transition Wilmslow December Newsletter is out now!
Read it here and find out what we have been up to all year.
Like to join us? See here for details
Come to the Wilmslow Christmas Festival.
Our Transition Wilmslow Christmas Tree will be one of many being displayed as part of the Festival
North East Cheshire Community Energy (NECCE) fears their community solar scheme cannot go ahead due to the Government’s proposed plans to savagely cut support for rooftop solar energy systems.
Before the last election its parent group, Transition Wilmslow, was encouraged by Government support to start a community benefit society to invest in local energy generation and provide funds to plough back in to the wider community. This would build on the work Transition Wilmslow has done with Wilmslow Town Council doing household energy surveys, using a thermal imaging camera.
NECCE has been working hard for the last 9 months to identify suitable community buildings, raise awareness and set up the right structure, engaging with students who were keen to reduce costs for their school. They were particularly excited about getting solar panels on Wilmslow High School as it was spending over £100,000 per year on its power bill.
The benefits would be:
- cheaper electricity for the school
- a rate of return to people who invested in the scheme
- income for a community fund.
In August, our local MP, George Osborne said:
“I am happy to support you wherever I can.”
Andrew Backhouse acting chair of NECCE has said that many people have been very keen to invest into something local that will:
- pay them a level of interest
- reduce our carbon footprint
- help local schools generate their own electricity
- help children learn about this in the process
- and cut their costs.
This is now unlikely to happen!
The expected policy change is going to stop any chance of progress. We understand that the Government might want to reduce the cost of energy in the short term – but they should be thinking long term to cut carbon emissions further, taking advantage of local investment, and doing more to boost local community involvement.”
Here’s what Caitlin a sixth form pupil at the local school said
“I think it’s disappointing that the government has changed their stance on the Feed in Tariffs (FITs) considering their huge positive effect on the UK’s energy supply. The initiative’s removal has had a major impact not only nationally but also locally. Our school could really have benefited from solar panels, both environmentally and financially, not to mention the valuable learning resource that would have been created”
The community group have written to George Osborne asking him to support their cause and back subsidy for solar, but so far he is awaiting a response from the Department for Energy and Climate Change.
If you want to know more about community energy locally, or to ask for help in reducing your energy consumption, contact Andrew on Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org or 01625 537087
More details of NECCE are on – http://necheshirecommunityenergy.org.uk/
A Show: ‘Baked Alaska’
About climate change
Commissioned by Christian Aid and others to promote awareness of the effects of global warming, it is to be performed by Riding Lights Theatre Company of York in over 40 towns nationwide.
“The sketches and stories are based on the lives of real people struggling with the effects of man-made climate change. The cast’s comedic antics deliver this important message through satire and metaphor with both humour and impact.”
“It seems incongruous to call a show about climate change fun, but Baked Alaska is.
More information here See this show locally at:
Alderley Edge Methodist Church, Chapel Road, Alderley Edge, SK9 7DU. Monday 19 October 2015
St Andrew’s Methodist Church Hall, Brownley Road, Wythenshawe, M22 0DW. Friday 13 November 2015
Both performances start at 7.30pm
A Film: ‘Growth Busters’
The first of Transition Wilmslow’s 2015-2016 film season
A film exploring the forces that fuel our worship of growth everlasting!
It tackles millionaire real estate developers enriched by public growth subsidies and economists who spin pro-growth propaganda.
More information and links to the trailer on our Film & Cinema section
Friends Meeting House, 1a Bourne St, Wilmslow, SK9 5HD
Thursday 29 October 2015, 7pm for tea and cake, 7.30pm showing, £2 admission
We were honoured to host the founder of Transition Wilmslow last week… here’s what he wrote about his visit, complete with podcasts:
Rob’s talk to a packed room on election night… local artisan beer is more exciting than corporate imports.
The Brixton Pound: one of many examples of how a local currency has been adopted encourage local spending.