The winning project
When Fallowfield Library was threatened with closure, the Friends of Fallowfield community group and One Manchester with the support of Manchester City Council, formed a charity to take over the lease.
80 volunteers have been trained, enabling the library service to operate and a wide range of activities and services to be offered including: English classes, an older people’s group to reduce social isolation, computer classes to increase digital inclusion, the local credit union helping promote financial inclusion, councillor’s surgeries, rent surgeries and employment support.
The Place at Platt Lane is a fantastic example of how housing associations can work with communities to help bring together partners to protect and enhance a valued community asset by unlocking community capital and accessing appropriate funding.
The journey has united the community, connecting people of all ages and from all backgrounds and helping reduce isolation, encouraging digital, literacy and financial inclusion and bringing new opportunities to an area, and helping to create a better, more cohesive neighbourhood for its residents to enjoy.
What the judges said
Wayne Hemingway, MBE of HemingwayDesign commented: ‘There was some pretty good stuff in this year’s batch. The Place at Platt Lane offers a wide range of services seven days a week – not only saving the local library from the sad fate of so many libraries ravaged by cuts, but making a tremendous and lasting difference to people’s daily lives. Community resources like this really do help to improve the very fabric of the places in which we live, improving neighbourhoods for local people.’