Broxtowe Education, Skills & Training
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The Broxtowe Estate
In a city with big unemployment problems, those of Nottingham's Aspley ward, which contains the Broxtowe Estate, rank as the most serious. BEST has developed its thinking and methods within the community there.
According to Government figures, in January 2011 more than 10% of the ward's adult population were claiming benefit. That's almost three times the national average of 3.6% and approaching twice that for Nottingham City as a whole at 5.5%. There are no precise figures for the estate itself but there are indications that it's much worse.
The Broxtowe Estate – not to be confused with the nearby and relatively affluent Borough of Broxtowe – has a chequered economic history. Building it was a response to the 1930s depression. It re-housed people from the slums of the city and the construction work provided jobs for some of the unemployed. The development was interrupted by World War 2, and only restarted post-war. It has since expanded to about 2000 homes today.
The planners' intention was to create a partially self-sufficient community, close to the city but in a greener and more life-enhancing place. It was unfortunate that the abrupt collapse of the coal and manufacturing industries in the area led to drastic cuts in public spending. As a result the estate was left for many years without the most basic community facilities or shops, relatively isolated from sources of employment and poorly served by public transport. Male unemployment increased and street violence, youth crime, family breakdown and social disaffection began to dominate the area.
Partially successful attempts to remedy the situation came in the 1980s with improvements to the housing stock, landscaping and the erection of the community building on Denton Green at the centre of the oval road layout.
BEST was formed from the merger in 2004 of two training organisations on the Estate, the Hope Centre based in St Martha's Church and Broxtowe Estate Enterprises. The objective was to provide a more cost-effective, joined up set of services. BEST took over the community building and set about empowering the local population to take back control of its neighbourhood.
BEST now integrates its work closely with initiatives by local councillors, the police, Nottingham City Council and local businesses. With this stimulus, some of the old community values appear to be reasserting themselves and work-oriented role models are emerging. There are reasons for cautious optimism: just one sign is that in 2009 the police reported that street crime figures were falling.
The success of the Awards Evening was unrivalled.... The warmth and general support for everyone there was unparalleled...
Paul Senior, Coontracts Director, Frank Haslam Milan Ltd, July 2010Find out more...
A trainee's message
I love my job and wouldn't have got it without the help BEST gave me. Now I've got money to do the things I want to do...
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BEST is a registered charity in England and Wales. Registered number: 1119916.
Registered office: Denton Green, Broxtowe Estate, Nottingham, NG8 6GD