The Stonedale Crescent Estate lies directly opposite the new Alt Meadows Park in Croxteth.
In December 2017, the Foundation was invited by Cobalt Housing to contribute to the regeneration of the estate. This work formed part of a major masterplanning exercise aimed at regenerating the estate, supported by the DCLG. The estate had been selected as one of four pilot estates in the country which presented particularly difficult conditions across a wide spectrum of public services, and which as a result absorbed exceptionally high levels of public expenditure.
In a report produced by the DCLG, in 2017, these costs were conservatively estimated at £6.4 million a year, equivalent to nearly £13,000 per person living on the estate. Initial studies identified that health care costs were the largest single element of this, and that the estate’s layout and resulting environment were a key concern for residents. Health care costs on the estate made up over 40% of the total public expenditure, over twice as much as any other category.
The CCG reported that the estate had particularly high levels of ‘lifestyle related’ conditions, including COPD (lung disease), chronic heart disease, circulatory, respiratory and digestive conditions. Life expectancy was significantly lower than the average for the city, whilst cancer and diabetes rates were significantly higher.
This can be partially explained by the relatively high proportion of elderly residents on the estate; 40% are over 65. But there is no question that residents on the estate suffer from unusually high levels of poor health. This contributes to the pressures on the health service, absorbs large amounts of public money, and, most importantly, has a serious effect on people’s quality of life.
The initial stage of work that the Cass Foundation was asked to carry out addresses many of these issues. The work was aimed principally at engaging with residents on the estate, to work together in effectively developing approaches to the problems outline above.
The original proposal was based on four inter-related strands of work:
Developing a Hub concept to create a place on the estate where residents could meet.
Developing a creative engagement programme as a way of connecting with people and involving them creatively in the regeneration process.
Developing a health promotion programme to address the chronic health problems suffered by residents.
Acting as an advisor to Cobalt on the masterplanning process.
The programme for this work was originally three months, starting in November 2017. Due to the time involved in the masterplanner appointment process which took longer than originally planned and the problems associated with an exceptionally hard winter, the programme was extended to June 2018. The Foundation's signature approach is outdoor engagement using a variety of outdoor activites. The extreme and inclement weather meant these activites had to be postponed until Spring
Given the clear links between health and the layout of the estate, and our detailed understanding of the local community, it is hoped that the Foundation will be able to play a significant role in future regeneration efforts. The Foundation produced a 66 page report detailing a variety of approaches, project ideas and funding possibilities and several proposals are under active discussion.