Residents of the Cherrywood ward were asking to complete a survey on how to spend money from the Big Lottery Fund
Residents from a Farnborough estate have given their views on how to spend a £1 million investment in the area.
A survey to determine what Prospect Estate residents like and dislike about the area, and how the money could be used it improve it, was sent to 2,000 homes in the Cherrywood ward.
Despite only receiving around 240 responses – approximately 12% – members of the Prospect Estate Big Local (PEBL) committee say they are happy with the results.
Charlie Fraser-Fleming, chairman of PEBL, said: “Often with surveys like this the response rate can only be around 5%.
“The surveys were delivered by hand through residents’ doors with a freepost envelope and we weren’t expecting that many responses as people can often ignore surveys or may not have the time to send them back, so I think the number of responses was very well balanced.”
The ‘Big Survey’ was conducted by the committee in August after it was announced in February last year that the Prospect Estate would receive £1 million from the Big Lottery Fund to improve the area.
The fund will be distributed at £100,000 a year for 10 years.
A meeting of the committee has now gone through the results of the survey and learned 60% of residents who responded like the estate and are happy living there, 20% are neither happy nor unhappy and 20% dislike living there.
Mr Fraser-Fleming said: “Generally the results have been really good so we will move forward with plans very soon.”
From the issues raised by residents, the committee said there were three that cropped up a number of times – a need for more access to training and skills to help residents gain employment, improvements to the open spaces and environment in the estate and better communication between organisations and residents.
Mr Fraser-Fleming said: “It was surprising how many people from the estate didn’t know about some of the things going on in the area.
“We need to find a new way of communicating with residents so they are fully informed.”
The PEBL committee will decide on a final strategy as to how the fund will be spent within the next few weeks before consulting with members of the Prospect Estate in November.
Once the proposals have been agreed, they will be submitted to the Big Lottery Fund, with the first instalment of funding set to be released next spring.
Mr Fraser-Fleming said: “Obviously we won’t be able to provide everything that the residents asked for so now it is a case of sitting down with the committee to prioritise issues and decide what to focus on.”
The PEBL project is part of the Big Lottery Fund’s £200m Big Local investment, launched in July 2010 to support 150 small urban and rural communities across the UK.
Committee members are working to get more residents involved in the project and take a wider interest in their area.
Clive Gratton, representing the Cherrywood Ward on Rushmoor Borough Council, said: “Overall, the project is really great.
“The Prospect Estate has needed a lot of work done to it for quite some time and the project will help to improve the area and move it forward.
“In this day and age, people need something like this. Any sort of money put towards the estate will benefit the residents and help them a lot.”