On Tuesday 26 February Tyseley Energy Park opened the doors of their Memorial Hall to over 200 members of the community including schools, community groups, faith groups and residents from Tyseley and Hay Mills to explore the past, present and future opportunities of the local area.
The community open day explored five priority areas; community and activities; environment and transport, heritage and history, energy, skills and jobs and finally the development of an action plan for the area. Visitors were given the opportunity to find out about the latest developments in the area and provide feedback on each of these priority areas.
The day was hosted by local Councillor Zafar Iqbal alongside local stakeholders and partners from the University of Birmingham, Birmingham City Council, Tyseley Energy Park, Webster and Horsfall, Birmingham City University, Saint Cyprians Church, Canal and Rivers Trust, Hay Mills Foundation Trust, Arts in the Yard and the ACKERS Trust. Together the stakeholders and attendees discussed and recorded the issues and opportunities within the area.
Community Artists from Arts in the Yard encouraged pupils from local schools to create models of things that they felt would have a positive impact on the area. The suggestions included affordable houses to tackle homelessness, a new hospital to treat cancer, sports activities in the park which included a big slide, an outdoor lake for swimming and fishing in addition to more nature space and trees.
Members of the community were invited to consider the current perceptions of Tyseley and Hay Mills before then suggesting what could be done to improve the area. Developing skills and creating jobs were a popular themes of discussions, along with opportunities to enhance green spaces and capitalise on the rich industrial history of the area.
The aim of the community engagement event was to take the first step in a process that will bring partners together who have a shared ambition and vision to work collaboratively and connect the local community, businesses and environment. The event concluded that there are a number of exciting initiatives being developed by different organisations invested in the area, however these are not aligned. Going forward, bringing these ideas and initiatives together would make them more impactful in the long term, especially if they are informed by the ideas of the community and embedded in their management plans.
When asked about the community open day, Councillor Zafar Iqbal commented; “this event was a great first step in a process that brought so many people together to get involved with their local community. Young and old alike were involved – we had people from schools, youth groups, community groups and faith groups – all working together to make Tyseley and Hay Mills a better place. I would like to thank all of the organisations that took part in planning this event and bringing it all together on the day. The even would not have been such a success without the help of the volunteers who joined us on the day. I want to thank David Horsfall and Sandy for their commitment, support and their generous hosting of the event.”
Councillor Zafar Iqbal and the stakeholders involved in the organisation of this event are in the process of exploring the recommendations put forward by the community. Once collated they will create an action plan for members of the community and local businesses to review as a part of a new stakeholder delivery group.
One of the first initiatives planned for the group is a littler pick along the River Cole on Wednesday 17 April 2019. The litter pick will start at the Hay Mills Memorial Hall at 9:30am and will finishing around 3:30pm. this will include a lunch break at around 12:30 and everyone is welcome to attend.
For further information about the River Cole litter pick or the Tyseley and Hay Mills stakeholder group please contact [email protected]