Corsham Area Joint Strategic Priorities
Corsham Area Joint Strategic Assessment
Cllr Alan Macrae
Chair of Corsham Area Board
Since the last Community Area Joint Strategic Assessments (CA JSAs), we have worked to improve outcomes for our communities and there are many examples of great locally led projects that have made our community area a better place to live, work and visit. Through the Area Boards there is a growing level of community involvement in decision making and the information presented here will allow us to go further to ensuring that we focus on creating healthy and vibrant communities. As well as the challenges we face there are many opportunities for us to make our community stronger.
This new assessment allows us both to focus on the future and to reflect on all we have already achieved.
Corsham Community Area covers 77km2 of countryside in the north-west of Wiltshire. It is made up of the historic market town of Corsham, the large parishes of Box, Colerne and Lacock as well as many small rural settlements. The area is a popular location for commuters to Bath, Chippenham and Bristol.
The old main road from Bristol to London runs through Corsham and provides links with the nearby town of Chippenham and the city of Bath. Before the coming of the motorway or the railway, this was the main road from London to the West Country and the towns along its way became staging posts for stagecoaches and other horse-drawn traffic. The town of Corsham, like many in Wiltshire, owes much of its architectural heritage to the wool trade of the 17th century. Corsham Court is open to the public and attracts many tourists to the town.
The nearby medieval village of Lacock originally grew up beside Lacock Abbey. It is now largely owned by the National Trust and is a major tourist attraction and home to the Fox Talbot museum. Lacock has also starred in many films such as Harry Potter and Cranford.
Our Community Area JSA for 2016
What we’ve changed since 2013/14
Children and Young People
Local people were concerned about obesity rates at the end of primary school. To tackle the problem local schools are now running healthy eating programmes. Corsham Youth Council ran a survey to collect information about sports facilities for young people and a new programme of holiday sporting activities has been set up by a community group in Colerne. The group are designing a ‘trim trail’ adventure playground.
New youth provision has been set up at Springfield Community Campus and runs every Friday offering activities and a safe place to meet. A counselling service, funded by the area board is providing support for young people and summer and school holiday’s programmes are run at Springfield. Greensquare Housing has offered to fund their young residents to attend activities such as a basketball, football camp and Camp Activate.
Colerne Parish Council has upgraded the local skate park and Box Parish Council has upgraded its play area. The area board has also supported the teenage help line, activities at the Pound Arts Centre and Go Active activities.
To educate young people and help them to understand how their actions impact on the community, work has taken place with young people at risk of or committing anti-social behaviour. Corsham’s Neighbourhood Policing Team have been visiting local schools and running a regular Bluez n Zuz discos. Mobile CCTV is now available in areas, funded by the area board and the town council has taken on responsibility for speed indicator devices. A new drug awareness group started in Colerne Parish with police involvement.
To continue to improve collaborative working between organisations to increase the local cultural offer, Springfield Community Campus in partnership with Corsham Town Council and the Pound Arts Centre are seeking to put together a joint events programme to use the different venues, increase tourism and boost the local economy. The Pound Arts run many different cultural events including their extremely popular ‘Blue Sky’ and ‘Magic and Mayhem’ festivals.
The area board has helped provide cinema and sound equipment for Colerne and the surrounding area and a new Visit Corsham website has been launched. A digital practitioners group has been to maximise the digital opportunities and digital screens have been installed at Springfield and Hartham Park to bring together information on community events and help advertise them. The town council and partners recently turned the town hall into a war time hospital for a special exhibition. A project to investigate the heritage and history of the buildings in Corsham High Street is being established.
Local people wanted to improve car parking to encourage shoppers and two successful 'Corsham means Business' events were held in 2015 and 2016. Free car parking has been offered at certain times of the year, including at Christmas. A feasibility study was also commissioned to look at potential for reopening the railway station at Corsham and a public realm study was undertaken to assess initiatives to increase footfall in the town.
Environmental education for families was seen as a priority to increase wellbeing and encourage behaviour change. Colerne Primary School is working closely with Cotswold Wardens and using Franks Wood as an outdoor classroom. It is also being assisted by Colerne Garden Club to help the children learn about all things green.The schools and youth council held activities with Corsham in Bloom to help young people think about the local environment. Transition Community Corsham aims to develop local solutions to local sustainability issues and a new community orchard has been planted. Plans are also underway to help the community develop the grounds around Springfield Campus.
The Corsham repair café encourages people to fix broken items rather than throwing them away into landfill and has proved very successful. Another local project aims to launch a community owned energy supply business in 2017.
Health & Wellbeing
It was agreed to prioritise improving mental and emotional wellbeing in Corsham. A successful event for those over 55 called 'The Big Get Together' was held in March 2016. This along with the Connecting Communities events launched work to co-ordinate activities for older and vulnerable people. Over 150 people and 41 organisations attended and agreement was reached to set up a local health and wellbeing group.
The area board decided to put extra resources into establishing a sustainable community model and this will include the further support for dementia awareness and also the introduction of safe places.
Walkers Are Welcome status has been achieved locally and the three day Corsham Walking Festival has been growing in popularity. Over 300 people took part in the Corsham Memory Walk in September 2015 to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society and dementia walks are held weekly.
Lacock Parish Council is working with the National Trust, the area board and other partners to redevelop community facilities. The local cricket club was able to buy new mobile pitch covers after the England and Wales Cricket Board, Wiltshire Cricket, Whitehall Garden Centre and Lacock Parish Council all contributed to funding.
Local people wanted more affordable housing. Since 2013 the neighbourhood plan has taken shape and a community housing needs assessment is being carried out. Former air force hangers in Colerne have been redeveloped.
The community have worked together to promote social and physical activities for older adults. In Colerne a Boule court and indoor crown bowls are being developed and an outdoor gym has recently been refurbished. The new Springfield Community Campus is providing a multitude of leisure activities including an indoor climbing wall, fantastic new health suite, all weather pitches and brand new gym. Work is underway to extend the outdoor offering alongside a new skate park and BMX facility. Five sport specific holiday programmes and a disability sports activity day have taken place and a new annual music festival is to start begin Colerne in 2016.
It was agreed that developing a business case for Corsham Railway Station was a priority and a feasibility study has been completed and suggests that a business case could be made.
Local people wanted a central point to support voluntary engagement in Corsham. Springfield now provides a centre for the community. The number of visitors and room usage is increasing monthly, and there are now over 35 groups meeting on a regular basis ranging from one of the country’s largest knitting clubs to xpression dancing and from Artlift to walking football. Particular attention has been given to support groups who promote better mental health such as creative writing and singing. There are over 30 volunteers involved in the health and wellbeing centre and in running various activities and strong links have been established with the local surgery.
Brunel Sheds, part of the Men’s Sheds programme, was established in late 2015 and has taken over an old and run down community hall in Potley. The hall has been restored with funding not just from the area board but also many other partners. This group is supporting groups, undertaking community projects.
Kik Radio and Corsham TV have been developed through Digital Corsham and work closely with the community and the area board. All meetings are filmed and live streamed by radio. Whilst a weekly computer club is run by volunteers from the school and provides older people with ICT training.
Cllr Alan Macrae
Chair of Corsham Area Board
Download the Corsham Community Area Joint Strategic Assessment via the button below
To find out how Corsham Community Area compares to other Community Areas on a specific theme please visit the relevant Key indicator page.
Additional population, deprivation and life expectancy data can be found in the Corsham Your Community Data pack (click here to view the PDF).
Download the Corsham Community Area Joint Strategic Priorities via the button below
At a Community Event in Corsham, residents voted on which issues to prioritise locally. The full range of issues that could be voted on, as well as those selected as local priorities can be found on a summary slide, accessed by the button below. The items shown in red are those that have been selected by the local community as priorities in Corsham Community Area.