Burslem Park was in the Renew North Staffordshire programme for the 2006-2008 period.
Like Birches Head and Normacot, it was classified as a General Renewal Area (GRA) which meant that work involved a light touch to make residents feel better about the communities in which they live and work.
More than £1 million was allocated to the Burslem Park area and the money was spent on work which gave the area a facelift including boundary wall schemes, alley-gating and improving car parking facilities.
GRAs are smaller neighbourhoods, generally located next to Areas of Major Intervention (AMIs).
They were introduced in the first RENEW prospectus as areas of relatively sustainable stock where strategic investment would help retain confidence.
The aim was to target environmental improvements within these areas to improve their ‘kerb appeal’, provide a relocation option to residents displaced by RENEW’s work in the AMIs, to target home loans and other products to assist owners to invest in their stock, and to allow for some limited clearance of unfit properties to facilitate new developments.
Overall, the GRAs provided an opportunity for positive regeneration with relatively limited, catalytic investment.
RENEW has spent approximately £4 million, split evenly between Birches Head, Burslem Park and Normacot between 2006 and 2008.
Encouragement was given to ensure that the standard of any repairs or improvements would meet both the Decent Homes and Fitness Standard with particular emphasis given to home security.
Environmental works, incorporating crime prevention through environmental design principles, were targeted to promote a positive image to those living, visiting or passing through the areas.
Work included grant or grant/loan provision; environmental works to boundaries, alleys and open space; and facelifts to both residential and commercial premises located on major routes through the GRAs.
Specific problems in the GRAs included:
These relatively small scale interventions were designed to build stability in the GRAs and increase their popularity.