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Radcliffe consultation and engagement

From August to October 2022, the Radcliffe Regeneration Team held a series of five public consultation events. Overall, we received 211 responses consisting of 53 paper forms and 158 online forms.

All responses were collated and any feedback pertinent to the design or construction of the building were fed back to the design team. The attached report described the feedback relevant to operations and is intended to inform the ongoing development of Wellbeing services and cultural events in the Civic Hub, Market Chambers and public realm. As a summary, we've outlined the responded topics below.

Libraries surveyed responses

Where respondents answered that their community group would be interested in running events in the library, we asked for the name of the community group and any requirements they would have. The groups listed were:

  • New Life Church drama sessions and RBGC kids group (rehearsal space)
  • Community Living Rooms
  • Incredible Edible
  • Liv's Trust
  • Radcliffe Litter Pickers (access to computers and charging in library)
  • Radcliffe Carnival
  • The Earlybird Project (space to hold creative workshops)
  • UNISON North West
  • Andy's Man Club
  • Rotary Club
  • Radcliffe Heritage Group
  • Stitch Your Space (Spirit of Place)
  • Slimming World
  • Fostering support group meetings (only available in Bury at the moment)
  • Mad Theatre
  • Human library.

Fifteen respondents expressed concern about the library move from the current Carnegie building. Respondents seemed uncertain what moving the hub would provide above and beyond the existing facilities and were worried that they would no longer have public access to a culturally important building.

Leisure surveyed responses

Respondents commented that they would like:

  • requests for a wide range of equipment and classes
  • suggestions for some specific equipment, resources (but no overarching theme) - a full list can be compiled
  • a couple of mentions of ropes, free weights and stretching space
  • toning tables, specific equipment and chair exercises in the gym for people with disabilities
  • circuit training space and set up
  • a wider range of classes - a full list can be compiled
  • pole, Les Mills, pump, dance, pilates and tai chi classes (specifically mentioned several times)
  • a range of sports teams to get involved with
  • classes at a larger variety of times (e.g. during the day, after work)
  • classes specifically for older people
  • classes specifically for disabled people
  • space for badminton (mentioned several times)

One person also suggested Makaton, dance and MaD theatre with sign language facilitators. They left their contact details if we are interested in getting in touch. Overall, respondents seemed to value the swimming pool very highly and comment more on it than any other aspect of leisure.

Our EqIA exercise and discussions about survey feedback also raised questions around how to organise storage for partner activities and how we might be able to operationally deliver and manage a safe space, breastfeeding space and a prayer room.

Respondents to the survey also have some general feedback about the leisure services and environment they would like to see. They commented that they would like:

  • The leisure centre to be highly accessible to disabled and older people
  • A better booking system, as they commented that the current system is difficult to use
  • Cleaner facilities, changing rooms and pool
  • Gym membership option for those who don't want to use the other facilities like the pool
  • Dedicated sessions or smaller workout rooms in the gym space for specific demographics (children with SEN, older people, disabilities).

One person mentioned that they attend One Step at Vibe in Bury, which provides a supportive, mental health-aware environment for those who have worked with BEATS in the past. They're looking to expand into other areas and gyms and they have left their name and contact details. Furthermore, there were a number of concerns expressed:

  • The most prevalent concern across leisure questions was around cost and affordability, with 37 respondents mentioning this. There was a perception that Radcliffe residents can access the same services for a lower cost at a private gym. Suggestions included lower prices, affordability schemes, vouchers, staggered pricing, no contracts, and the option of a pool-only or gym-only membership.
  • Two respondents were concerned about the unisex changing village (and a small number of comments have been made about this to the Regeneration Team)
  • Two respondents (and some members of the public via email) have expressed concern over the loss of a sports hall space for badminton and other sessions and would like information about where they will be able to find a similar space in Radcliffe once the current Leisure Centre closes.
  • Three people were concerned about the operations and use of the rooftop space, particularly in bad weather.

Public realm and cultural programming surveyed responses

Respondents also commented they would like the bandstand to be a venue for community events, and music and entertainment performances.

Where respondents had answered that their community group would be interested in running events in the piazza, we asked for the name of the community group. The groups listed were:

  • St Mary's UCM
  • Community Living Rooms
  • Incredible Edible
  • Bury U3A
  • Liv's Trust
  • Radcliffe Litter Pickers
  • Growing Together
  • St Thomas Church
  • St John's Church
  • Radcliffe Community Action Group
  • Radcliffe Swimming and Water polo.

Respondents also commented that:

  • they would like action taken to ensure Radcliffe Market does not stop other stall holding events from occurring in the piazza occasionally
  • they would like to know more about booking spaces in the Hub and Market Chambers for family events and parties
  • Seven respondents were concerned about safety and would like steps taken, such as CCTV, to ensure the space is safe and usable by all
  • 21 respondents were concerned about maintenance or expressed doubt that the space, especially green elements, would be maintained. This includes several mentions of the potential for vandalism.