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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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