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  • Hannah Garcia

An early Christmas present for Railway Street

This time last year we were able to share the brilliant news that Cardiff Council had granted us permission to use the Railway Street Land.



It seems totally unbelievable that a whole year has passed since then and, although the land remains locked and empty, this is about to change because...


WE'VE GOT SOME FUNDING!


In addition to the £10,000 already provided by the Co-op Foundation we are so pleased to tell you that we've received £50,000 from the Welsh Government’s Landfill Disposal Tax Community Scheme. This means that things are about to get exciting.



We've spent the past year working with the wonderful Amanda and Rhian of ALT-Architecture who have taken the inspiring wish-list of things you told us you'd like to have on the land and created a plan for the site which we hope you'll love as much as we do. We'll be holding a community meeting in the new year where you can explore the plans and find out more, we'll send out a date as soon as we can.


Creating this plan hasn't been totally straightforward and we're very grateful for Amanda and Rhian's patience, creativity, and incredible attention to detail. For a start, we're trying to squeeze a lot of cool stuff into a smallish space while prioritising accessibility. There have also been a few unexpected discoveries, like a fairly mega district water main and a Victorian sewer running below the middle of the site, creating a big chunk of space that we're not allowed to build on. Last January new Sustainable Drainage Regulations (SuDs) came into force in Wales which has affected how we plan the site and there have been questions to answer and challenges to solve around the soil, invasive plants, flytipping at the gates, security and a whole bunch of other important but fiddly bits.



But we're getting there. And we've had help from our advisory group, pictured above! These are lovely local people who have offered to support and guide the project and make sure it's always moving in the right direction for our communities of Splott and Adamsdown. We're pleased to introduce you to Lyn, George, Ali, Anna, Erica, Noreen and (not pictured) Bren.



Through the magic of post-it notes and felt tip pens, Noreen has been helping us all get to know each other and understand how the group can best work together. We're still looking for a few extra people to join us. We're very conscious of the fact that people from minority ethnic backgrounds, older members of the community, people with disabilities, and people between 16 - 24 are under-represented in the group so if this is you, and you're interested in getting involved, then we'd love to hear from you, or please do share this with anyone who might be keen. We're also keen to welcome people with financial skills and experience in youth engagement. The group meets quarterly in Splott, with smaller sub-groups meeting as needed to discuss different topics. We always have decent snacks. Please email hannah@green-squirrel.co.uk if you'd like more information.


So what comes next? In January we'll being sharing the site plans with you, visiting local schools to work with pupils on designing elements of the project, and *fingers crossed* submitting planning permission. We'll also be pushing forward with the next stage of seeking funding and, as always, if you know a business or organisation that would like to support any part of the project then do let us know.


Thank you so much for reading, supporting, and sticking with us. We think 2020 is going to be a good year on Railway Street.


Becca and Hannah



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