Published on 10th March 2020

An area of wasteland in Northwich is set to get a makeover thanks to funding from police and crime commissioner (PCC) David Keane.

Groundwork Cheshire, Transition Northwich and the Town Council are planning to breathe a new lease of life into former farmland off Marlowe Road using funding from the PCC’s Safer Communities Fund which gives local people the opportunity to take action to make their community safer.

Dane Valley Orchard, a local site of natural beauty and bio-diversity, has been neglected for some time and has attracted anti-social behaviour. The grant from the commissioner will fund a two-year programme of site clearance, regeneration and maintenance.

It will also allow the group to make the area a hub for the local community, developing on-site volunteering and training activities with a particular focus on supporting ex-offenders and those with a history of substance misuse.

PCC visits Dane Valley Orchard.jpg

PCC David Keane said: “Areas like Dane Valley Orchard can often be magnets for youth anti-social behaviour which can make them inaccessible for the local community.

“This funding will create a safe environment for local residents to enjoy what the Orchard has to offer whilst using it for recreational activities like dog walking or running.

“The project also has wider benefits which will be delivered through the community groups it creates to reduce social isolation and provide training opportunities.”

Cllr Helen Rowlands, from Northwich Town Council, added: “The Dane Valley Community Orchard team is absolutely delighted to receive this generous support from PCC David Keane.

“Our Safer Communities funding lets us move ahead with exciting plans for the long-term regeneration and development of the Dane Valley orchard—an important site of natural beauty and bio-diversity in Northwich.

“This is a long-term environmental project that will engage young people from across Cheshire at risk of being drawn into offending behaviour or re-offending.

“The project will offer opportunities to build skills and improve job prospects. With our partners Groundwork Cheshire, and support from Northwich Town Council and Cheshire West Voluntary Action, we will create a safe, vibrant and healthy public space, which will help our communities to prosper and thrive.”