Waves of success for Ridge Hill

IT is all going swimmingly for Ridge Hill Big Local Enterprises who took over the lease of Stamford Park Boating Lake and Chadwick Dam earlier this year.

The lake and its boating facilities, previously leased by a private company, had been closed for some time before it was taken over by the enterprise company.

The boathouse at Stamford Park

Though the hire boats have been moored for the winter, the volunteer led business, that employs Rob Bishop as community engagement officer, is still busy.

They held weekly tidy ups during October and they are set to continue throughout the winter. Tasks included litter picking, balsam bashing, removing branches, brambles and nettles.

Chadwick Dam will be maintained as a fishing lake with Ridge Hill Angling being run through the enterprise business.

Alongside improving the area for anglers, the rejuvenation plans are intended to allow everyone to enjoy the area for generations to come.

Looking back over recent developments, enterprises’ director Karen Rees-Unwin said: “It took eight or nine months to negotiate a lease from Tameside Council who were very supportive.

“The boating lake was open all summer and demand was good when the weather was kind.”

Since taking over the lease, the enterprise company has repaired the boathouse roof and electrics, power cleaned the area by the boathouse and repaired the perimeter fence.

Local businesses Morgan Electrical Services and Cedar Construction carried out the work at greatly reduced prices.

The vision is to develop the lakes and the surrounding green space into an area for all of the residents of Tameside and beyond to enjoy.

There are plans to buy new boats, hold events and activities for local schools and have a nature trial behind the lakes.

Ridge Hill Big Local secured £1million lottery funding to be spent over a 10-year period.

Subsequently Ridge Hill Big Local Enterprises was set up as a commercial business to have assets and generate further income.

And the enterprise company secured funding from Ridge Hill Big Local to acquire the lease for the boating lake.

The lottery funding helped to set up a community hub on Ambleside that serves the Springs, Arlies, Hague and Ridge Hill estates.

Ridge Hill Enterprises is also seeking charitable status that will enable it to secure further funding.

Mick O’Neill, chair of Ridge Hill Big Local Enterprises, explained: “The social enterprises company will give us a legacy vehicle beyond the life of the Big Local funding period.

“We have set it up to start generating income which can be reinvested to improve the area and to continue to fund our projects.

“The support people are offering has been very humbling. There is a real sense of people wanting us to be successful.”

Karen Rees-Unwin, a non-paid director of the enterprise company, added they would love more volunteers to help.

Find out more by emailing: info@ridgehill-enterprises.co.uk


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