A COMMUNITY beauty spot — designed and created by local people — has been launched in an anti-social behaviour hotspot by the deputy police crime commissioner.
Jim Battle, who holds the post for Greater Manchester, attended Campbell Street, Farnworth, to see the work residents had carried out after the police crime commissioner allocated funding for a small community garden near Cawdor Walk.
The community garden includes two raised flower beds shaped in a C and a W to represent Cawdor Walk, along with bird boxes and hanging baskets to brighten the area.
The launch follows months of work by Bolton at Home and police to improve the area.
Work has involved the housing association evicting nightmare neighbours, police arresting drug dealers who have since been jailed and Bolton at Home providing skips to help deter fly tipping.
Neighbours have formed a residents’ association and meet each week.
They have even started taking part in drama sessions.
Mr Battle said: “It is a transformation, the garden looks absolutely brilliant. There are so many smiling faces here and the residents are also getting into drama and arts.
"This estate has talent and it’s coming out. That spirit of the community you can’t buy.
Jon Lord, chief executive of Bolton at Home, added: “Physically the garden looks good but the big thing is the community engagement, there wasn’t a great deal of people coming together before and that has been more valuable.
“There will be more work carried out on the estate, we will be looking at breaking up some of the spaces.
“The estate was known as one of the worst estates Bolton at Home has but things had to happen to get things kicked off. I see the work as a long-term relationship with the residents.”
He said the residents have taken ownership of the estate by getting involved in the garden.
Resident Valerie Eckersley, of Cawdor Court, said: “Druggies used to congregate on the estate but I no longer feel scared to go out now. The estate is not so bad.”
Police say call-outs have dropped significantly, which has freed up officers to tackle other hotspot problem areas.