Twenty five years ago a group of people were told by the City leaders that their homes were to be demolished and they would be scattered across the City to make way for industrial redevelopment. They said NO!
The Eldon Street people, their parents and their grandparents before them lived in one of the poorest inner city areas within the United Kingdom. The people suffered from appalling poverty in homes surrounded by abandoned docklands and the worst of industrial dereliction, but the area was their home. It was the basis of their community and their shared history.
From a standing start the Eldonian people have so far delivered:
A Community Trust with over 600 members;
New homes and housing management services for over 2000 people;
A total transformation of the physical environment;
A Village Hall;
A Children's Nursery;
A Sports Centre;
A development advice service for other communities;
A Neighbourhood Warden Service;
Over 50m in assets and,
Partnership Projects bringing in 100m private sector investment.
They are still going forward, using themselves as an example, to show to people from across the world just what can be achieved when local people take control. they are now full partners with local authority leaders in developing the wider area regeneration proposals. They also increasingly influence national and international policy. a truly remarkable achievement.
The award that the Eldonian won
The original Eldon Street is long gone but the people that made these things happen are still together. The local man and the driving force behind much of the work was, and is, Tony McGann. Tony's work and the story of the peoples' success in developing a sustainable community, from the ashes of an area written off by offers is truly remarkable.