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A decade of doing - how West Howe spent £880,000 of Lottery money
WEST Howe residents celebrated a “decade of doing” as they looked back on how £880,000 of Lottery funding has been spent.
The area, which is one of the most deprived in the south west, was one of just over 80 places in the country picked in 2003 by the Fair Share Trust to receive 10 years of funding.
A community celebration was held at the Henry Brown Youth Centre to highlight the numerous projects to have benefited from the investment.
They include gardening clubs, training projects and counselling sessions while the area has also seen four music festivals and the opening of a community cafe, shop and drop-in centre.
Resident Mandy Russell said: “Years ago, you were scared to come to West Howe, but there’s not that feeling anymore. Instead, it’s got a good community feel about it, there are more activities and more going on.
“Hopefully, us residents will keep that going.”
Community development officer Gary Bentham agreed: “One of the biggest pleasures is changing people’s attitudes to West Howe.
“When we first started, people would say ‘I can never say I come from West Howe.’
"You can’t eradicate that stigma entirely but we’ve made huge progress in improving the area’s reputation.”
And former councillor and local youth worker Ted Taylor said: “The best thing is that local people have made decisions about their own community. “The big thing now is continuing that work.”
Although the Lottery funding has now ended, Bournemouth council has made West Howe a priority for regeneration.
Improvements will in future be delivered by the West Howe Regeneration Partnership, which comprises the council, Bournemouth 2026, community organisations and other partners.