Neighbourhoods Together: Kirkholt, Dicken Green and Stoneyvale

Homes

Kirkholt is RBH’s largest neighbourhood and it is made up of a mixture of homes. There are over 770 two and three bed houses, along with 25 four and six bed houses for larger families . There are also concentrations of flats in the central area, and on the north and east edges of the neighbourhood as well as pockets of maisonette flats, giving an overall total of around 540 flats. There are a number of homes for older people in the Kirkholt neighbourhood; 162 one bedroomed and 9 two bedroomed bungalows, as well as 29 one bedroomed flats at Arnold Bagnall Court Independent Living Scheme

The Dicken Green & Stoneyvale area provides 218 homes. The majority are two or three bed houses along with a small number of bungalows. There are 52 mainly three bed flats concentrated in Stoneyvale, a 1960’s self contained development on the edge of the neighbourhood.

People

The age make up of the Kirkholt neighbourhood is generally very mixed, with a slightly higher number of younger people. However, the size of Kirkholt neighbourhood means that a higher proportion of younger households could have a potential impact in terms of welfare reform for younger people. 

Dicken Green & Stoneyvale have significantly less young people, and a higher proportion of more mature households

Whilst Kirkholt has a slightly higher number of White British households than the RBH average, there are significantly higher percentages of Polish and Black African households living in the neighbourhood

Dicken Green households mainly describe themselves as White British. There is a significant number of people in this neighbourhood who identify as Pakistani households

Access, transport and facilities

The Kirkholt neighbourhood is located on the south side of Rochdale and on a circular bus route to Rochdale town centre. However, there are very few evening bus services into the centre of the neighbourhood

Dicken Green and Stoneyvale are also on the south side of Rochdale, but closer to the town centre and to main bus routes along Queensway

Kirkholt has a small shopping parade, supermarket and taxi rank. There are two GP surgeries and a dentist. There are three primary schools serving Kirkholt and the surrounding neighbourhoods. On the edge of the neighbourhood there is a large park containing a library, play facilities and a skate park

There are various community initiatives which take place on Kirkholt:

  • RBH’s Kirkholt Drop In Centre provides advice, signposting and access to employment and training opportunities along with free access to internet
  • Q Gardens is a community garden based at Queens Drive where people can learn how to garden and grow their own food
  • Children’s activities including Brownies, dance groups and an afterschool club
  • Kirkholt Pantry provides low cost food and household goods to its members
  • The Luncheon club and the Young at Heart Music/Sequence Dancing Club meet regularly at Kirkholt Community Church
  • Kirkholt Maker Space is an initiative funded by Rochdale Council to encourage people to learn computer skills

The Future of Kirkholt

RBH is currently working with the Council and other partners to develop and implement a master plan for the neighbourhood

  • The key priority of the master plan is transforming The Strand, the main shopping area in the centre of Kirkholt. The New Strand will provide a high quality and flexible community hub building to meet the needs of the community, RBH and partner agencies now and in the future. It will also provide nine high quality retail units with residential accommodation above. Significant infrastructure and public areas improvement works will also take place, and sites for future housing and health building developments will be created

Kirkholt Million

A Big Local lottery grant of £1 million was awarded to Kirkholt in December 2012. A steering group made up of residents and stakeholders was set up and extensive consultation took place with residents to understand how they would like to see this money spent. The initial priorities of phase 1 of the project (2015-17) are:

  • Building skills project
  • Skate Park
  • Community project fund
  • Creation of apprenticeships

Kirkholt, Dicken Green and Stoneyvale in depth

Home & environment

Levels of satisfaction with both the home and the environment in Kirkholt are slightly lower than other neighbourhoods. Satisfaction with home and environment in Dicken Green and Stoneyvale is good. The Kirkholt neighbourhood includes a high percentage of open communal green space. Fly tipping and dumping in open spaces is as issues along with up keep of large gardens

So Far

  • Kitchen & bathroom replacement programmes have been carried out on Kirkholt and Dicken Green from 2013 to 2015
  • A window and door replacement programme was completed on Kirkholt between 2013 and 2015  and on Dicken Green in 2013/14
  • Work has been completed to properties and communal areas to provide driveways and shared parking bays
  • RBH Caretaking team continue to respond to fly tipping and dumping including enforcement action where appropriate

     

Future Action

  • Ongoing master planning is addressing environmental issues and the appearance of The Strand area, as well as seeking to develop new quality homes
  • RBH will explore issues of condensation and damp
  • In 2017 RBH will be working with the community to explore potential play provision in central Kirkholt
  • Quarterly neighbourhood inspection will be used to identify an environmental issues in communal areas

Community

Satisfaction with living in all these neighbourhoods appears reasonable and people feel the neighbourhoods are inclusive and friendly. However, crime and anti social behaviour rates are relatively high. Kirkholt residents report lower levels of satisfaction with health and well being, with a number of households vulnerable to physical and mental health issues. Membership levels are high in Kirkholt and appear to be offering opportunities to participate that are valued. However membership is poor in Dicken Green and is not felt to offer valued opportunities to participate

So far

  • RBH is working in partnership with Police, Rochdale Council and support agencies to reduce and resolve anti social behaviour including taking enforcement action where appropriate
  • RBH continues to support vulnerable households through our Better Living Team and joint work between our Neighbourhood Housing Officers and support agencies
  • RBH has worked with Adult Care and partner agencies to provide our tenants with aids and adaptations
  • RBH has funded community projects aimed at healthily lifestyles and reducing isolation
  • RBH will continue to offer members options to participate in the decisions RBH makes

Future Action

  • RBH will work with Police and support agencies to develop early intervention in relation to juvenile anti social behaviour and incidents arising from alcohol and drug misuse
  • RBH is working alongside the Council, and health agencies to provide one to one support for households who are experiencing difficulties coping and accessing support
  • RBH is working in partnership with MIND, Life4life and Better Life  to improve access to local counselling, well being and support services
  • Working with local tenant members, RBH will investigate new ways that our members can get involved in the mutual RBH
  • The RBH Community Fund will seek to fund community organisations to deliver activities which improve well being and reduce feelings of isolation

Money

Kirkholt is a neighbourhood with relatively high benefit dependency. As such, welfare benefit changes and the roll out of Universal Credit continue to affect people living in Kirkholt. There are a higher number of people on health related welfare benefits across the neighbourhood, who may need a high level of support to access the work market. High levels of households experiencing debt may show a need for support around budgeting and money management and well as improving access to quality employment and skills training

So Far

  • RBH Rent and Payments Team have been assisting households to apply for Discretionary Hardship Payments where appropriate
  • RBH has contacted and supported households affected by the Welfare Benefits cap
  • RBH specialist debt team has assisted households in managing and reducing debt
  • The Council provide a weekly job club at The Strand
  • Kirkholt Drop In Centre provides support and advice on employment and skills as well as access to daily online job search and jobs notice board
  • RBH, Groundwork Oldham and Rochdale and Kirkholt Millions have supported local people to access building skill traineeships

Further Action

  • RBH will continue with local outreach campaigns to contact those households needing money advice
  • RBH will work with new employment and skills programmes such as Working Well and Motiv8 to improve people’s access to work and skills support
  • RBH will offer a one to one mentoring support to tenant members who are looking to improve employment opportunities
  • RBH will work with local employers in the surrounding business parks to promote employment and skills opportunities for Kirkholt residents
  • RBH will offer additional advice targeted at new tenants, tenants on receipt of health related benefits and younger households
  • The RBH Community Fund will seek to fund community organisations to deliver activities which reduce poverty and assist money management

Decide Together: Kirkholt, Dicken Green and Stoneyvale

Decide Together can offer funding to any RBH member who has an idea for an activity which addresses a priority or action within a Neighbourhoods Together area.

Kirkholt Priorities

  • Improvements to communal green spaces
  • Improving well being and reducing isolation
  • Activities for young people
  • Money management & debt
  • Employment & skills

How does it work

  • Complete and submit a Decide Together Form with your idea
  • Your idea will then be placed on the website
  • All RBH tenant members in the 16 neighbourhoods will be invited to vote online for projects in their neighbourhood
  • Projects that receive a majority vote from members in the neighbourhood will be funded to try out their idea.
  • But MEMBERS need to vote for the projects they want to see happen.

Download Decide Together Guidance and Decide Together Ideas Form