Dane Meadow Improvements
The Dane Meadow project - far and away the largest project in which we have been involved - started in 2012 as a joint project between
the Partnership, the Parish Council and Cheshire East Council.
The aim of the project was three-fold:
- To improve access for all, by
providing a surfaced drive from Daresbury Close (to allow disabled vehicles to get to the bottom of the meadow), and improving paths/steps
within the area.
- To provide educational facilities, by creating ponds, a bird hide and other facilities to encourage exploration of
- To encourage art in the valley, including the provision of wrought iron signs and wood sculptures throughout the area
One of the Partnership's biggest ambitions is to encourage people to do more walking and cycling and less driving within the village,
as this has both health benefits in terms of exercise, and also reduces the demand on car parking spaces in the village centre. Our
first project in this area was to install a cycle shelter next to the public library in the precinct.
In 2012 we produced our first
cycling map, showing suggested routes within the village for safe cycling away from the main roads (as far as possible).This was followed
up in 2013 by a second map showing leisure routes of various lengths outside the village, to allow individuals and families have a
longer ride again, as far as possible, away from the main roads.
Our maps are available here
Answering the many requests received to hold more Community events after the success of Holmes Chapel’s celebration for the Queen’s
Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the Partnership planned a Christmas Market for the same year. A completely new venture for Holmes Chapel,
we had an amazing response as we met with enthusiasm from local organisations, schools, Churches and businesses.
No one could
have anticipated the ‘turn out’ or the atmosphere, the hustle and bustle as purchases were made, mulled wine drunk, the delicious
smell as the meat cooked, the queue for Father Christmas, the audiences entertained by the school children and the meeting up of folk
who hadn’t seen each other for a while. There was no question of doubt, we had to have another market and as we are now planning our
third market, it looks as if Holmes Chapel Christmas Market has become an annual event.
We look forward to seeing you on Sunday
7 December 2014. 4.00-7.00pm. Co-op car park, Scout HQs and St Luke’s Church Hall. If you would like to have a stall in 2014 please
Throughout the project we consulted users of the playarea and local residents to understand what was wanted. The result was a shiny new playarea with equipment for children and young people up to the age of 15, together with seats and tables where parents and guardians could sit and chat.
We were proud to be a founder member of SECCAG (the South East Cheshire Cycling Action Group) who are encouraging cycling across Cheshire East. In 2013 the group published a map showing cycling routes within and between the 5 local Partnership towns - Alsager, Congleton, Middlewich, Sandbach and (of course) Holmes Chapel.
The project was funded jointly by the Parish Council, Natural England, and WREN, and was formally opened in May 2014.
The Partnership has produced a “Welcome to Holmes Chapel” brochure, containing information about the leisure and voluntary organisations
which can be found in the village. Newcomers, and indeed long-time residents, often don’t know where to find out about groups such
as these, and so may miss out on opportunities to join in with the many enjoyable social events and activities which are available
in the area.
The brochure is available in the Library and in some shops, and the information is also available here
In early 2014 the Parish Council sent out a questionnaire asking about what village recreation facilities were needed - related to
the closure of the AP Club. One of the top requirements identified by the survey was that many of the respondents would like a Community
Cinema within the village. Such ventures are already in place at Congleton, Alsager and Sandbach and are very popular.
A group of
volunteers formed a project team and looked into what could be done. The first of a regular (monthly) film show - Belle - took place
at the Vic Club in September.
For information about the next showing see the group's website www.hc3.uk
The cost of producing the brochures is approximately 80 pence per copy, and the work of producing them took around 50 volunteer hours.
Following on from the success of the Middlewich Road Playarea improvements we turn our attention to the Elm Drive Playarea. The Elm Drive Playarea is much larger, and hence provides more opportunities, than the Middlewich Road Playarea.
A questionnaire was distributed to houses on the eastern side of the village (as well as the two primary schools) in March 2014 to seek residents opinions on what was needed. The results indicated not only a need for children's play equipment, but also equipment for teenagers in addition to the playing 'field'. For adults, there is an appetite for a outdoor fitness facility - which could include outdoor gym equipment and an exercise track. There was also a request from local residents to improve the general area surrounding the formal playarea.
A project team, comprising representatives from the Partnership, Parish Council, residents and Cheshire East Ward Councillors was
formed to look at what might be possible, and how this could be funded.
Subsequently, and following public consultation
on suggested improvements, the project team were offered 6 new pieces of equipment (valued at approximately £70,000) - many of
them unseen elsewhere - free of charge by the manufacturer (HAGS-SMP) on the understanding that the project team funded the cost
of installation and any other pieces of equipment. This was readily agreed and the project went ahead:
- All the old equipment
apart from the toddler swings were removed.
- The approach path from Elm Drive was resurfaced
- The six 'free' play items were installed,
plus a Multi Use Games Area (on the edge of the football pitch) - paid for by the Parish Council
- The toddler swings were repainted
- The football pitch was levelled and the grass reseeded
The playarea was reopened officially by Fiona Bruce, MP, in July 2015 and has
been well used since. Subsequently two picnic benches have been supplied and installed by the manufacturer as compensation for
the installation issues which delayed the opening.
View before the changes
Views after the changes
The current Holmes Chapel Parish Plan was published in December 2009, following a village-wide survey in mid-2007, so needs to be
brought up to date. Many of the actions identified have been completed, some are no longer relevant, and there are new issues and
opportunities facing the people of Holmes Chapel.
The project team is looked at how best to achieve this, seeking initial opinions
from residents - via the Partnership's stand at the May 2014 Village Fair. The aim was to provide an update which reflected the current
views and aspirations of the residents, organisations and businesses in Holmes Chapel.
In June 2015 have completed
the review of the actions from the original Parish Plan, and created an update document which you can find here
have been completed, some are ongoing (and either being worked on by the community or as part of the Neighbourhood Plan), and some
are no longer relevant.
(in partnership with Holmes Chapel Parish Council)
(in partnership with Holmes Chapel Parish Council)
Working for the
On 27th July 2013 we were delighted to open the newly refurbished Middlewich Road Playarea, with the help of the Mayor of Cheshire East (Dorothy Flude).
This was the culmination of an 18-month joint project between the Partnership, Holmes Chapel Parish Council and Cheshire East Council; the project was funded by the Waste Recycling group WREN and the Parish Council. The equipment was provided and installed by Play & Leisure Ltd.
With fitness and obesity being constant topics of interest and concern in the media Holmes Chapel Partnership wants to do its bit
towards getting Holmes Chapel residents moving.
As part of our Health & Wellbeing Campaign we launched The
2Gs Grand Challenge in early 2016, in partnership with and with expert input from Everybody Sport and Recreation. We are
delighted to be sponsored by both Active Cheshire and Cheshire East.
The Challenge aimed to improve the general fitness of both older
and younger residents in the village, across the generations - hence ‘The 2 Gs’ in the name of the campaign. Participation was
completely free, and open to teams of at least one adult (grandparent/parent/uncle/aunt) and at least one young person (grandchild/child/nephew
or niece), living locally. We asked that
participants agreed to take part in the programme for a minimum of 12
- completed a simple heath questionnaire before they started exercising
- agreed to keep records of their exercise sessions
throughout the 12 week period
- completed a mid-term questionnaire
- completed a questionnaire at the end of the 12 week period
- helped teams decide the best sort of exercise for their personal circumstances - such as walking, jogging, swimming,
running or even gardening - whatever they felt they can manage!
- offered free pedometers for any/all team members to
monitor their walking/running achievements
In total 101 individuals signed up for the challenge, of which 29 completed the full
(in partnership with Everybody Sport & Recreation)
For many years, and at least since the Parish Plan was published in 2009, young people in the village had expressed a wish for a skateboard
facility that they could use. Consideration had been given to placing this at either the Middlewich Road or Elm Drive playareas,but
due to potential noise and safety issues these were discounted. However the 'arrival' of the new village community centre provided
the opportunity for a skateboard/BMX park to be created within that site.
A formally constituted Youth Facilities Working
Group was set up in November 2015 to look into if, how and when a Skateboard / BMX Park (and other facilities)
could be provided within the community centre site. The group was comprised of PCSO Jill Cope, representatives
from the Partnership and Holmes Chapel Parish Council and a number of young people from the village,
with the residents of the village, and more importantly the young people, the need for the skatepark was confirmed. In the summer
of 2016 the Working Group invited several potential suppliers to visit and provide conceptual designs, with costings - based
on the young people's requirements. These were refined down to suppliers of concrete parks and invitations for formal tenders
were sent out.
We secured funding for the project from the following:
- The Veolia Environmental Trust
- Holmes Chapel
- Cheshire Constabulary (Community Safety Fund)
- Holmes Chapel Partnership
- Holmes Chapel Methodist Church
- Monies raised
by the young people in the village at their Bake Sale in January 2016
The winning supplier - Canvas Spaces Ltd - was subsequently
selected and, once planning permission was granted by Cheshire East Council, work was able to begin (in February 2017). The
skatepark was completed, and informally opened, by the beginning of April. It was formally opened in May, by PCSO Jill
(in partnership with Holmes Chapel Parish Council and Everybody Sport & Recreation)
On Sunday 17 September we ran a brand new event - Celebrating Holmes Chapel - at the Community Centre. The event was
effectively a combination of two events that happened in the past - Holmes Chapel Today and the Holmes Chapel Village Show.
aim was to celebrate living in Holmes Chapel where, firstly, our Charity and Voluntary organisations can show us what they do whilst
offering us games and activities to have some fun. 15 local organisations attended to set out their stalls, and plenty attended.
our creative members of the Community were able to show us their talents - baking, crafts, photography, gardening, etc..
We were delighted to have over 200 entries to the show element, proving that there is a great deal of talent amongst our local community!
add even more interest, we were fortunate to have a Classic Car display, with around 20 vehicles - plus the Fire Engine and a Police
It was a great day, and we hope to make this an annual event.