An application to be registered was sent on Oct 5th and was accepted. A condition of receiving monies was the formation of a separate MTI committee for Congleton achieved in Nov ‘05. The MTI would need to be a partnership between the statutory bodies and the voluntary sector.
As Congleton Town Council did not have the capacity to service this committee SECE (South East Cheshire Enterprise) agreed to provide paid administrative support. A coordinator was appointed and through running, thematic discussion groups based on the MTI handbook volunteers came forward to form the committee. A MTI health check was completed to gain an overview of the town and its aspirations.
Some very successful projects were achieved: Town entry sign, fingerposts, community notice boards, a town centre plan, a Congleton in transition document setting out a 22 point action plan for economic recovery for the town, the conversion of the top floor of Townhall and Phase1 of the Dane Walkway.
About £350,000 as inward investment was secured based on 50% contributions from CRRP to projects. Matching monies came from Congleton Town Council, WREN and local trusts. By March 2008 the NWDA programme money terminated and the MTI status ended. It was decided to rename the committee as the Congleton Partnership.
- Business Support group
- Congleton Sustainability group
- BEARTOWN marketing Group
- Contracts and Performance Group
- Visual Congleton group
- Town centre working group
The executive consists of 22 members on an approximate ratio of 50 % statutory representatives from Cheshire East, Congleton Town Council, the Police, Fire Brigade Congleton Education Partnership with 50% drawn from the voluntary sector.
The Congleton Partnership has representation on the Congleton LAP and is recognised as a NAG.
The excellent work of the BEARTOWN team resulted in a 2010 award from the Action for Market Towns NW and are presenting on its work to the Yorkshire group of market towns in September.
If you have been inspired by what you have read, want to volunteer or join the Congleton Partnership…….we are waiting to hear from you!