Onward welcomes local MP to Murdishaw

Onward recently welcomed Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury to our Murdishaw neighbourhood in Runcorn. We manage around 550 homes in Murdishaw are bringing forward ambitious plans for transformative, community led regeneration of the area over the coming years.

The visit comes at an important time as we embark on a programme to retrofit 132 bungalows in the area. The retrofit programme will deliver major improvements to the homes, providing residents with more energy efficient and comfortable homes in the future. The retrofit programme was made possible by working in partnership with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to secure £1.5 million from wave 1 of the Governments Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

In recent years, we have also worked with local residents, the Council and partners to develop plans for a new community café that will transform a disused boxing gym into a thriving community hub. The plans have been driven by the Community Design Team, a group of residents representing the wider neighbourhood, to ensure that these reflect the aspirations and needs of the community. Onward consulted with residents earlier this year on the plans and a planning application will be submitted later in the year.

Finally, the MP had chance to visit Community Shop in Runcorn where Onward and Community Shop have partnered to create a social supermarket that provides discounted food to local people along with personal and professional development support. Onward has provided the buildings for three Community Shops, which continue to be a hive of activity in the area.

Reflecting on the visit, Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury, a former Shadow Housing Minister, said:

“The bungalows will be retrofitted with new insulated roofs, external wall insulation plus new doors and windows to bring down household energy bills at a time when people are hard-pressed.
“The revamp will freshen up the look of the neighbourhood along with new landscaping carried out in line with residents’ wishes.
“It’s also great to learn about plans for a new community hub-café, again driven by local people at grassroots.”
He added: “Community Shop offers heavily discounted prices to members across Runcorn but is much more than a social supermarket.
“It is a meeting place and community café, a place where people can learn cookery skills and budgeting, make new friends and gain confidence.”

Bronwen Rapley, Chief Executive at Onward, said:

“Local people are taking the lead in Murdishaw, working with Onward to identify priorities and guide progress through the Community Design Team. The total investment of £4.5m in local homes will help keep them warm, dry and more affordable to heat. Our plan is to combine these improvements with creating new places and ways for the community to come together.”

Echoing this, Gary Stott, Executive Chairman at Community Shop, said:

“We were delighted to welcome Mr Amesbury to Community Shop in Runcorn to show him how our ongoing partnership with Onward Homes is delivering much needed support to the local community. Community Shop and Onward have worked closely together for many years to re-energise buildings and create fantastic community spaces where people can access deeply discounted food, as well as life changing learning and development programmes to raise their confidence, build up their strength and ultimately deliver long-term aspirational change.”