Community ownership of the venue will encourage greater community participation in the staging and support of promoted activity so that the project can be a real catalyst for community engagement, the building of a positive cultural identity for the town and have a regenerative effect.
Winsford only became a town in 1894, but it is the successor to a long and distinguished history. The two main parts are Over and Wharton, which are separated by the River Weaver. Both settlements were mentioned in the Doomsday Book in 1086. "Over" is a pre Roman name indicating a settlement on a hill.
The hilltop road following Delamere Street and Swanlow Lane contains some of the oldest buildings in the town, some dating back to the 17th century. The development of Winsford started after 1721. In that year parliament gave permission for locks and other improvements on the River Weaver to allow sea-going vessels to reach Winsford Bridge, during the nineteenth century Winsford's salt works formed a boomtown.
The town experienced a major expansion in the late 1960s and 1970s with its designation as an Expanded Town under the Town Development Act 1952 to take overspill from Liverpool. This saw the development of two new industrial areas on both sides of the town, new estates of council and private housing and a new shopping centre with a library, sports centre, civic hall and doctors surgeries.
The expansion led to a mix of people in the town, comprising the original Cheshire residents and a large wave of migrants from Liverpool and Manchester, there was (and to some extent still is) some friction between "Old" and "New" Winsfordians.
With the loss of many old landmark buildings and facilities and the change in population Winsford's cultural identity has suffered as has its image. The town centre has few shops of note and many empty units, the levels of aspiration are generally very low. Winsford suffers with large pockets of deprivation and almost a third of children in the town live in poverty.
A survey by Cheshire West and Chester Council places some areas in the top 2% most deprived in England, and others in the top So/o. Crime is high: the rate of almost 1,000 crimes per 100,000 population every month is the highest in Cheshire and compares with other heavily deprived areas in England such as Middlesbrough and Burnleys.
"This next song is about where we're from. It's about this town. It's called Kick in the teeth. It's about the despair and boredom of being a young boy growing up in this town and having nothing to do other than play football or play music. Fortunately, this place was here, for us, when we were lads. It stopped us gettting in to trouble with the law.
Places like this are what we need in commnunities like ours. We've been left behind. We've got nothing... other than this place right here. This town has always created great artists out of the boredom and despair of nothing to do as a kid. We're a small working class town in the middle of nowhere, but this place helps people prosper and helps them earn their way.
Put your hands in your pockets. Lets keep this going. Its about the future."
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01865 403 304