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District ...

Enjoy Life ...
...A Cultural Strategy to make
Braintree District a better place to
live, work and play ...

  The Braintree District Partnership
How will we deliver

q   All our published aims and objectives will          Learning and Skills Council
    become actions for individual service               Environmental Partnership Board
    areas in our business planning process.             Housing Partnership Board
                                                        Witham and Braintree Care Trust
q   We will produce detailed annual plans
    and publish how each service will play a            North Area Advisory Group for Learning
    part in delivering the strategy.                    Braintree District Voluntary Support Agency

q   We will actively continue to build on the           Arts Council England - East
    success we have achieved during the last            East of England Museums, Libraries and
    five years in attracting external funding to        Archives Council
    the District.                                       Museums in Essex Committee
                                                        Essex Museums Workers Group
                                                        The Essex Arts Officers Group
How will we monitor                                     Braintree District Arts Council

success?                                                Sport England East
                                                        County Sports Development Forum
q   We will publish our achievements via our
                                                        Essex Active Sports
                                                        Braintree Sports Development Forum
q   We will consult and evaluate customer               The Sport Development Network for
    feedback.                                           Braintree District
                                                        Braintree District Disability Sports and
q   We will review our progress through                 Leisure Forum
    continuing consultation with our partners           N.A.C.R.O.
    and undertake joint research to evaluate            Football Foundation
    the impact of culture over the next five
                                                        Countryside Agency
                                                        D.C. Leisure
q   We will work with other authorities and
    partner organisations to record and                 This strategy forms part of and is
    publish progress.                                   informed by the following policy

                                                        -   Corporate Strategy
Who are our partners?                                   -   The Community Strategy
                                                        -   The Community Safety Strategy
The Braintree District Partnership                      -   e-Government Strategy
Braintree Business Council                              -   The Local Plan
Cultural Partnership Board                              -   The Housing Strategy
Essex Police                                            -   The Local Compact with Voluntary
Transport Partnership Board                                 Sector

                    This Cultural Strategy forms part of a network of strategies
                   covering our District, neighbouring Districts, the County
                  and the region with the specific aim of using culture to improve
                 the quality of life for both communities and individuals. Culture
                 can both lead regeneration and make people feel good about
                 themselves and where they live. The higher the quality of life
                   the more attractive an area is for businesses and visitors alike
                    and the easier it is to boost levels of inward investment and
                      job creation.

    District Council as
  an Authority is committed over the next
five years to making Braintree a vibrant
place to live and a place people are proud        ”
 to live and work and that its services will
   deliver beyond expectation......
     Cllr David Finch, Leader of
                                       ”                 Culture is at the core of
                                                  everyone’s well-being and of the
                                                Society in which they live. It enriches
          Braintree District Council
                                               both the individual and the community
                                                 Cllr Simon Walsh, Lead Member for
                                                    Culture and Leisure

                                                    q    Ensure activities cover a wide range of
                                                         ages from mother and baby to adults.
                                                    q    Offer activities which address social
                                                         issues such as cultural diversity and caring
                                                         for the environment.
                                                    q    Use the facilities of Libraries,
                                                         Community Halls and Village Halls to
                                                         bring arts events to rural communities.
                                                    q    Member groups to find external funding
Cricket                                                  for activities in villages.

Enjoying helping ...
q   Training a new generation of volunteers
    over the next five years to ensure the
    strong network of community support
    prospers and grows.
q   Continue to take arts events into Care
    Homes and hospitals.
q   Train Carers in Reminiscence Therapy
    for the elderly.
q   Train and support, with professional
    advice, the eight voluntarily run
    Museums and Heritage Centres in the
q   Ensure training programmes continue to
    provide enough Sports Coaches with the
    right levels of qualifications.                 q    Children surveyed enjoyed “playing
                                                         outside”, i.e. informal play the most from
                                                         all the activities they listed. Over the
                                                         next five years we need to work with
                                                         partners to ensure outdoor play schemes
Enjoying taking part ...                                 can be established and provide outreach
                                                         from leisure centres and the District
q   Encouraging young people at                          Museum where established on site
    risk of offending to take part                       activities can provide training and best
    in active sports has proved                          practice to take out to rural communities.
    highly effective; through sports
    development we will continue                    q     Free activities will continue to be part of
    to work with NACRO.                                  the arts programme and we will actively
                                                         seek funding for -
q   Provide day camps, activities days and               -     rural arts touring
    sessions in all our facilities, covering
    Sport, Arts, Heritage and the                        -     touring exhibitions


               5    Executive Summary

               7    Introduction

               10   Partners and Communities

               13   The Wider Picture ...
                    How does culture fit in

               15   What do we want locally
                    for our Cultural Life?

               18   Investing in our

               19   What’s not so good

               20   Action Plan to take the
                    Strategy Forward

               24   Delivering the Strategy

               25   Acknowledgements

 Action Plan to take the Strategy

 Enjoying living where
 we do ...

 We need to change the perception of the
 District and help people feel they belong. We
 plan to:
 q    Work to attract major cultural facilities to
      the District -
      -     2 Major Swimming Pools
      -     A Regional Textile Centre

                                                          Puppet Festival

                                                              -    through libraries, both mobile and in
                                                                   our major towns;
Braintree Pool                                                -    by using Parish Councils, village
                                                                   notice boards;
 q    Promote festivals, markets, special events              -    working in partnership to publish
      in all our towns and villages.                               Town Guides.
 q    Work with Town Centre traders and                   q   Organise a Sense of Place Project in all
      organisations to promote the special                    55 parishes.
      nature of each of our towns and continue
      to help them attract shoppers to sustain            q   In five years ensure each village has a
      local businesses with events such as                    village guide.
      Witham Puppet Festival and John Ray                 q   Our Local Plan is committed to caring
      Celebration in Braintree in 2005.                       for the environment, however we need to
 q    Produce a Welcome Pack which will be                    work with schools, colleges and Local
      delivered to all new residents and free                 Trusts to ensure continuing awareness of
      sources of information about the area -                 the importance of the individual to the
                                                              environment by -
      -     via our website;
                                                              -    exhibitions, education projects,
      -     through Tourist Information Centres;                   community actions such as the “Door
                                                                   Stop Green Project in Witham”.

Executive Summary

What is Culture?                                              These key components of culture are a vital
                                                              part of the quality of life of the people who
Cultural activities, in whatever form, enrich                 live in the Braintree District.
the lives of their participants and of the com-
munity as a whole allow people an outlet for
their creativity and self-expression which they
may not have through work or otherwise.
                                                              Shared Objectives
We have adopted the government’s                              By working strategically across geographical
Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s                      boundaries, with shared objectives, we hope we
(DCMS) definition which includes the                          will be able to attract funding and investment
following activities within culture:                          focussing on priorities based on extensive
                                                              consultation through ‘Living East’ and
q     the performing and visual arts, craft,                  ‘Celebrating Essex’. Our own community
      fashion, media, film, television;                       strategy will focus on local needs and issues
                                                              and how national, regional and countywide
q     museums, archives, design; libraries,                   policies have an influence and relevance to
      literature, publishing;                                 our whole community.
q     the built heritage, architecture, landscape,
q     sports events, facilities and activities;               Consultation
q     parks, open spaces, wildlife habitats, water            Through consultation with our residents,
      environment and countryside recreation;                 through parish clusters and innovative
                                                              research to create the wider community plan,
q     children’s play, playgrounds and play activities;       of which this cultural strategy forms a
q     tourism, festivals and attractions; and                 significant part, we have a clear picture of
      informal leisure pursuits.                              what people value in their community and
                                                              what they want to see improved.

                                                              A new partnership has been created under
                                                              the title ‘Partners and Communities Together’
                                                              who will work to achieve some of the
                                                              improvements people want to see. Their
                                                              priorities are also the foundation of the
                                                              shared vision for delivery with the voluntary
                                                              sector over the next five years.

    ‘Adding colour to our lives’

            Investing in our Communities

                                                    q     Colchester Borough Council Local
                                                          Government Online partnership funding
                                                          for a joint Customer Relations
                                                          Management based project (£200,000) 2003

                                                    q     Braintree Museum Trust for National
                                                          Lottery funding to house the Warner
                                                          Collection of historic textiles (£1.9
                                                          million - currently Stage 1 approval) and
                                                          £391,000 for Learning for Life Centre
Braintree Station
                                                          completed 2002.

Recent examples of inward investment

q    Single Regeneration Funding for East
     Braintree £1.3 million to address
     longstanding industrial dereliction

q    National Lottery Heritage Funding to
     restore the historic public gardens in
     Halstead and Silver End (combined value
     £353,000 1999/2003)
                                                        Braintree District Museum

                                                    In recognition of the increasing importance
                                                    of external funding both to the Council and
                                                    to the wider community, since June 1999 the
                                                    Council has employed an External Funding
                                                    Officer to support this activity. To date, some
                                                    £1.6 million for voluntary sector/Parish
                                                    Councils and £3.4 million for the Council in
                                                    external grant funding has been secured
Halstead Public Gardens                             through her involvement.

q    Essex On-Line Partnership for Local
     Government Online partnership funding
     for the joint e-Government programme
     (£400,000) 2003


    Culture is all about people .... how                representatives of local organisations,
    we live our lives, and the part each of             volunteers and professionals who live and
    us play in building our communities....             work in our District, we have a very clear
                                                        vision of what people want from their village,
                                                        town, District, County and Region.
    What will our District look like in the
    next 10 years? What will it be like to
    live here?

    In Celebrating Essex, a strategy for
    Essex put together by the 14 Local
    Authorities and the County Council
    which make up Essex, the strategy says

        “Culture is crucial to
    our way of life. It defines us,
   where we live and what others
 think of us. It provides relief from
work, yet generates millions of jobs.
 It is important to health, life long
learning, economic development, the                     Through extensive consultation with people of all ages
                                                        throughout the District we have a clear idea of their priorities
  environment, community, safety,
     regeneration and individual                        Braintree District has had a surprising past.
            achievement”                                The towns of Braintree and Witham both have
                                                        Roman remains; the strategic routes
                                                        north/south and east/west which led the
                                                        Romans to develop settlements in the area
    Locally and throughout the County we have
    been asking people what they want to see
    improved in their daily lives and what is
    important to them, how they feel about
    Braintree District and what is good and the
    bad about living in Braintree District, Essex
    and our Region.

    By talking to literally thousands of people
    (5,000 in the Braintree District alone)             Finchingfield Green

A great quality of life
Braintree District Council does deliver
in far more ways than it might first
appear and, like Essex, can sometimes
be hampered by a negative image. The
reality is a District with -

q      A strong community spirit
q      A healthy economy
                                                           High achieving schools
q      Some of the most attractive villages in the
                                                          q    Very good, high achieving schools
q      Historic market towns and a unique
       industrial heritage                                q   Excellent housing
                                                          q   An extensive network of community
                                                              groups across faith, sport, the arts, history
                                                              and the environment which offer almost
                                                              limitless opportunities to take part in
                                                              every sort of activity from salsa classes to
                                                              opera, carpet bowls to carpentry, Reiki to
                                                              African drumming, extreme sports and
                                                              classic cars to wildlife conservation

                                                          It will benefit from investment in new
                                                          swimming pools and has recently
                                                          completed skateboard parks and a
                                                          bowling alley. The District now has two
                                                          cinemas - one a multi-screen, one an

                                                          A high proportion of professional artists
                                                          and craftworkers live in the District, a
                                                          trend started in the 1950’s when a
                                                          colony of artists, some to become world
                                                          renown, set up home in the village of
    Paycockes House, Coggeshall                           Great Bardfield.

                                                          It has a tradition of public buildings of
q      One of the highest proportions of listed
                                                          high architectural merit and contains
       buildings in the country
                                                          one of the finest examples of Modernist
q      Excellent communication links                      architecture in Europe, namely Silver End.

q      Positive regeneration policies resulting in
                                                          The District has had a Public Arts Policy for
       leisure and shopping at Braintree Freeport
                                                          over 10 years which includes landmark
       which is attracting visitors from a two
                                                          artworks such as The Bird of Freedom in
       hour driving distance

   One of the important foundations for the             As a result of the Council’s efforts, by
   Council’s partnership approach was the               2003, the local economy has completely
   establishment of the Braintree Business              recovered from the devastation of the
   Council, the first of its kind in the country.       1980s. All the derelict industrial land in
                                                        the three towns has been redeveloped, in
   An innovative partnership between a charitable       east Braintree with the assistance of
   trust, the Council and private sponsorship led       £1.3 million from the Single
   to the development of an award winning               Regeneration Fund.
   District Museum.

   As the growth momentum developed,
   strengthened by the development of Stansted
   to the west, the Council developed a key
   partnership with Countryside Properties to
   build a major new ‘village’ - Great Notley -
   to the south of Braintree. So far, some 1,416
   new homes have been built in an environment
   that has won several national design awards.

                                                        Freeport Designer Shopping Centre

                                                        More recently, the same entrepreneurial
                                                        and customer focused approach attracted
                                                        to the District, Freeport plc, one of
                                                        Europe’s largest developers of factory
                                                        outlet centres. Since 1999, Freeport has
                                                        created a flagship shopping village on
                                                        the outskirts of Braintree town, including
                                                        16,000 sq. m of retail floorspace, together
           No one Local                                 with a leisure complex, comprising a 12
        Authority, Regional                             screen multiplex cinema, bowling alley,
                                                        restaurants and a replacement public
Organisation, Government Office,                        swimming pool complex (also pending).
Parish or Town Council, Business
 or Voluntary Group can make a
  difference, but together we can.

‘Celebrating Essex’ sets                                Our opportunities are:

out a shared vision.                                    q   To assist the voluntary sector and ensure that
                                                            all voluntary organisations and individuals
                                                            have access to information and funding.
To change the                                           q   To plan for future investment in the
image of Essex ...                                          cultural infrastructure of the county.

Our aspirations are:                                    q   To develop partnerships between the cultural
                                                            sector and other providers to address
q   To positively change the external                       health, social and environmental issues.
    perceptions and image of Essex.
                                                        q   To co-ordinate and collate information
q   To celebrate the cultural diversity and                 and research on cultural provision and the
    identifies of Essex.                                    benefits of culture across the county.

Our opportunities are:
q   To work in partnership with county and
    regional cultural, tourism and economic
    development agencies to promote the
    cultural diversity of Essex.
q   To attract one or more cultural facilities
    of regional or national importance to Essex.
q   To encourage and promote local festivals
    and events across the county.
q   To encourage and promote the distinctiveness
    of local products, services, customs and

To value our local communities ...

Our aspirations are to ensure:
q   That cultural facilities and opportunities
    are maintained and developed.
                                                         “In five years time Essex
q   That the natural and historic environment
    of the county is respected, protected
                                                     will have a thriving economy and
    and promoted.                                  a reputation nationally for its vibrant
                                                     cultural life.We will have a wider
q   That the importance of culture is
    recognised and used to full effect in            choice of cultural opportunities to
    addressing social, health, economic and                  meet our needs and
    education issues.

Our shared priorities for the District
are set out below. They are grouped
under seven themes. They are grouped
under seven themes. The first three
themes are the most important for the
District’s residents and for PACT.

PACT’s shared priorities for the District
are based on extensive public consultation
involving more than 5,000 residents
from all parts of the District.

                                                          Outside play is the top of childrens “favourite things to do”
                                                          in a survey of children taking park in activities throughout
Getting Around                                            the District.

-   To promote flexible, accessible and integrated
    public and community transport, both as               Feeling safe and well
    an alternative to the car to reduce the
    impact of rising traffic levels, and to meet          -   To maintain a low level for crime and
    the needs of non car users                                improve residents’ perceptions of levels of
                                                              crime in the District
-   To address the issues around car parking
    both in residential areas and town centres            -   To promote healthy communities

-   To reduce traffic congestion                          -   To encourage individual and community
                                                              ownership for responsibility for their own
                                                              safety and the safety of others (e.g.
                                                              speeding, litter, lighting)
Things to do
-   To make information about leisure and                 Being part of the
    cultural activities in the District more
    readily available                                     Community
-   To create more opportunities for young                -   To ensure that new residents are made
    people to get together informally                         welcome to the District

-   To improve leisure opportunities and                  -   To develop opportunities for young
    facilities in the District for young people               people to be part of their community
    and other groups in the community
                                                          -   To improve access to and promote
                                                              effective use of community facilities (e.g.
                                                              schools, community halls, pubs)

     The Braintree District Partnership

                                                                            Access to services and
                                                                            -   To help more people into further and
                                                                                higher education and training

                                                                            -   To improve publicity and marketing of
                                                                                services and opportunities available to all

                                                                            -   To seek improved access to facilities and
The community office in East Braintree is used by local residents in            opportunities for rural communities
many different ways including working with artists to make the area
a better place for everyone.
                                                                            -   To widen the range of accommodation
                                                                                suitable for single/young people
Taking pride in where
                                                                            -   To seek ways to make more affordable
we live                                                                         housing available

-      To ensure that we preserve our local
       heritage, and maintain local identity,
       culture and character
                                                                            Caring for the
-      To reduce levels of litter, dog fouling, fly                         Environment
       tipping and abandoned cars in the District
                                                                            -   To increase levels of, and opportunities
                                                                                for, recycling across the District

                                                                            -   To address localised flooding issues
                                                                                through a co-ordinated programme of

                                                                            -   To safeguard the open countryside against
                                                                                inappropriate development
                                                                            -   To value all wildlife and protect and         co
                                                                                enhance both the natural and built            b

    Fly tipping is anti social and adds cost to the Council Tax.
    Litter annoys residents and visitors. Education projects, exhi-
    bitions and events linked to the environment are included in
    a programme to raise awareness especially in the young.

         The Wider Picture ...
              How does culture fit in ...

                                                  Living East’ is one of eight Regional Cultural
                                                  Consortiums in England set up to champion
    “We believe passionately that culture         culture in the East of England. The members
                                                  are the regional agencies for the arts, archives,
  has a key role in addressing both               creative industries, heritage, libraries, museums,
  economic and community issues ....”             sports and tourism, together with the region’s
                     ‘Celebrating Essex’          Local Authorities’ representatives for health,
                                                  environment and the voluntary sector.

                                                  The priorities for the future set by ‘Living
                                                  East’ for the region will help, in partnership,
                                                  to meet our local priorities. They are also
                                                  important as, with PA.C.T. locally, they are
                                                  about partners working together to solve
                                                  problems, share expertise and knowledge and
                                                  delivering change.

                                                   Its themes are:

                                                   Living Life to the Full -
                                                   which focuses on participation, regeneration
             “We believe passion-                  and social impact, improving access and
                                                   offering choice.
        ately that culture in its widest
     sense can improve the quality of life         Living Organisations -
  for communities and for individuals. It          concerned with making the cultural sector
can make cities, towns, villages and the           count by improving performance and
                                                   increasing skills, identifying sources of
ountryside better places to live and do            funding and sharing best practice.
business in. More than that, culture can
 lead to regeneration, make people feel            Living Image -
                                                   this recognises the need for a strong sense of
    good about themselves and help the             identify and increased confidence which
       community recreate itself”.                 should bring inward investment from both
                                                   private and government sources.
             ‘Living East’

Partners and Communities

This is why in Braintree a new partnership
has been created under the title P.A.C.T.
(Partners and Communities Together)
who will work to achieve some of the
improvements people living in Braintree
District want to see.

      PACT’s mission .....
      “Everyone can make
       a better tomorrow”

Our vision is one where :
q   Everyone can contribute to achieving
    their priorities for the District.                Info Link - getting information to people in their homes
q   Everyone lives in active communities.
q   Everyone has access to community                  q    find fresh approaches to long-standing issues
    information, means of transport and               q    provide regular feedback to residents
    essential services.                                    Feedback from all parts of the District
q   Everyone is welcome.                                   tells us that people like living in Braintree
                                                           District and that there is also a strong
q   Everyone lives in a clean, green and safe              community spirit in most parts of the District.
                                                      Each community has its own issues and priorities.
PACT brings together the main public,                 The involvement of local communities will
private, voluntary and community organisations        be essential to making progress on PACT’s
working in Braintree District. It includes            overall priorities. PACT will work alongside
leading representatives from local government,        local communities to encourage local
the police, health providers, voluntary               solutions wherever possible.
organisations and businesses. It also includes
representatives of young people, older people,
people with disabilities and faith groups.            PACT will work in individual communities to
                                                      encourage local projects which bridge generations
PACT will look for opportunities to:                  and promote equality of opportunity. It will
q pool resources                                      seek approaches which conserve today’s natural
                                                      resources for the benefit of future generations.
q   attract funding to the District

    What do we want locally for our
    Cultural Life?

   Our aims are to weave culture                             q      Provide more opportunities for young
                                                                    people in every aspect of their lives from
   into everyday life and .....                                     leisure to training and opportunities to
                                                                    make a contribution to their communities.
   q   To preserve what’s best from our past
       heritage, natural environment and

   q   To help everyone feel part of the
       community by improving access to
       community services and information,
       particularly for people in rural areas, so no
       one feels excluded from anything.

  We want everyone who lives,
visits or works in the District to
Enjoy Life and Enjoy Braintree
   District ......

   q   To help people to be happy, healthy and                   Gibraltar Mill, Great Bardfield
       active by creating more opportunities for
       people to improve their health and well being.
                                                             Braintree District Council as an
                                                             Authority is committed over the next
   q   To provide a welcome to new residents
                                                             five years to making Braintree a vibrant
       and visitors.
                                                             place to live and a place people are
                                                             proud to live and work and that its
   q   To encourage enterprise and opportunities             services will..
       to rejuvenate our towns and villages.

   q    To be truly creative and foster innovation           “Deliver beyond
       in the individual and the wider community             Expectation...........”
       which will continue to bring jobs and
       investment in the local economy.

have the same draw today for the commuters
who are making the District their home.

Home in the 19th century to companies which
planned major roles in changing the world
such as Courtaulds, Crittalls, Lake and Elliot,
Hunts grew alongside a rural economy of
farming and seed growing.

Braintree District is the second largest
in Essex (236 sq. miles). Largely rural in
character, it stretches from the Stour
Valley/ Suffolk border in the north, to
the Chelmer Valley and Chelmsford in
the south. Just over half the population
of 132,500, live in the three main towns
of Braintree, Halstead and Witham and
the remainder in the villages which
make up the 64 parishes.

The administrative centre is Braintree                 Stansted Airport
(population 41,703), a market town on the
A131 and A120, the main east coast route               The 1980s and early 1990s saw massive
linking Braintree with the M11 and Stansted            public investment in the District,
Airport, which lie just to the west of the             including
District. The A120 is currently being                  q   Braintree by-pass
upgraded to improve access to Stansted and             q   Four new primary schools
the M11. Witham is the second largest town             q   New high school
(population 22,470). It is located in the              q   New 6th Form College
south of District on the main line from                q   New fire station
Liverpool Street to East Anglia. Halstead is a         q   New police station
small market town (population 11,053)                  q   A District Museum
serving the northern half of the District.             q   New library

In the recession of the early 1980s, the
District was severely affected, with the loss of
thousands of jobs following the decline and
closure of the dominant companies of the
District - Courtaulds and Crittalls. The
Council’s response represents an early clear
example of its ‘community champion’
approach. Under the slogan ‘Braintree Means
Business’, the Council developed its first
corporate strategy, focusing on regeneration
and inward investment. This strategy
included clear commitment to customer care,
and established a culture and ethos that are
still prominent two decades later.
                                                       Braintree Library

Great Notley Country Park. It has some
outstanding countryside and open air spaces

-    Cressing Temple
-    Marks Hall Arboretum
-    The Discovery Centre
-    Networks of footpaths and cycle ways
     which allow easy access to open spaces
     from every town and village
                                                                         Cressing Temple

                                                                         This adds up to the evidence that
                                                                         Braintree District is a good place to live, it
                                                                         has a lot to offer visitors and has made
                                                                         an enormous improvement in its facilities
                                                                         and services over the last five years.

                                                                         The commitment to that improvement
                                                                         was set out in the District’s Quality of
                                                                         Life Plan and developed by listening to
                                                                         the people who live in the District and
                                                                         working with partners in the private
                                                                         and voluntary sector.

                                                                         Much of that improvement programme was
                                                                         funded by inward investment from the
                                                                         Lottery Board, the private sector and
                                                                         government regeneration funding.

Jonathan Clark’s stunning sculpture is one of more than 20 art
projects completed in the District. A commitment to Public Art is
contained in our Local Plan

It has an important Norman castle in Castle
Hedingham, a Railway Museum and a
National Award winning District Museum.
Two Art Galleries in Braintree attract nationally
known artists and touring exhibitions of
work from artists such as Goya and Picasso, as
well as over 100 local artists and craft workers
listed in our local Arts Directory.

What Are We Committed To?
Over the last five years the District has had
an unprecedented inward investment which
has provided regeneration to the East of
Braintree, rejuvenated parks in Halstead and
Silver End, extensions to its Museum,
improvements in communications and on-line
partnerships totalling £7 million. Further
plans to provide additional leisure facilities are
in progress and will be completed during the
time this strategy is current.
We have created an action plan contained in
this document designed to protect our
environment, enrich the lives of people who
live in the district and celebrate our heritage.
q   A continuing record of attracting inward
                                                         The Causeway - Halstead
q   A measurable improvement in the health
    of our residents.
                                                         How Will We Take The
q   An increase in the number of people
    working in the voluntary sector.                     Strategy Forward?
q   An increase in opportunities for young               q   All our aims and objectives will become
    people of all aspects of their lives.                    actions for individual service areas in our
                                                             business planning process.
q   A rise in the number of people who
    enjoy living in the District and are                 q   We will produce detailed annual plans
    satisfied with the services provided.                    and publish how each service will play a
                                                             part in delivering the strategy.
q   An increase in creative opportunities in
    rural communities.                                   q   We will actively continue to build on the
                                                             success we have achieved during the last
q   Providing the opportunities for everyone                 five years in attracting external funding to
    living in our towns and villages to access               the District.
q   Celebrating the uniqueness of our region,
    county, district and each individual                   “The Cultural Strategy
    community.                                           will help deliver the District
                                                     Council’s aim to create a cleaner and
                                                     greener District, help people feel safe
                                                     and well and provide a better place to
                                                             live, work and play”

What’s not so good

 widespread consultation
we now have a clear picture
of what people need to see

-   There is a lot going on but people need
    easy access to information about opportunities
-   Transport to access these opportunities is
    a big problem
-   Fear of crime stops people taking part in
    leisure and cultural events and activities in
    the evening                                           Housing

-   People hate litter!
                                                          -   There are areas of relative
-   Newcomers don’t have any sense of                         depravation often sitting close to
    the place they live in and it’s                           areas of affluence which serve to
    heritage. They only ‘roost’ in their                      highlight disparities in income,
    homes and commute to work in                              wealth and opportunity in those
    London and Chelmsford and                                 less advantaged communities which
    Colchester, often shopping and                            exist both in our towns and rural
    socialising in those places                               villages. When looking at the positive
                                                              aspects of life in both Essex and our
-   The future of many voluntary groups is
                                                              own District, it is important to
    threatened by a shortage of younger
                                                              accept that problems also exist
    people with the time to give to the
                                                              which need to be solved, with
                                                              culture playing a significant role in
-   We have a shortage of accommodation                       addressing them.
    for the visitors to the District now the
    improvements to the A120 and the
    shorter travelling time to Stansted mean
    we have the opportunity for MORE
    tourists, especially from Europe and South
    East England. A major horse racecourse
    at Great Leighs will add a new dimension
    to the need for accommodation

q      We will provide help and support to                                    q      Promote Walking for Wellbeing.
       groups seeking funding to provide
       improvements to their environment.                                     q      Promote “Healthy Mind: Healthy Body:
                                                                                     Healthy Planet” as a Mission Statement
q      We are committed to helping the                                               for working with schools and colleges to
       economic vitality of the villages by                                          encourage an increase of participation in
       supporting local clubs, halls, societies and                                  active sports.
       small rural businesses through Rate Relief
       which benefits charities and village
       amenities such as village shops, pubs and
       filling stations in rural areas.

Enjoying visiting ...
q      We will seek to increase the accommodation
       available in the District by 20% over 5
       years and attract a major hotel to the area.
q      Provide on-line booking services for
       visitors for accommodation and events.
q      Work with Essex Partners to develop
       Cultural Tourism and establish themed
       trails and tours which will attract visitors
       away from congested “honey pots” such as
       Finchingfield, and highlight some of the
       undiscovered strengths of the District
       such as churches.
q      Aim to have all accommodation providers
       trained as Welcome Hosts within three years.
                                                                                  GP Referral Scheme

                                                                                     Work with the Disability Sports and
Enjoy good health ...                                                         q

                                                                                     Leisure Forum to extend equipment and
q      Work through leisure providers to provide                                     activities which enable active participation.
       GP referral schemes                                                    q      Plan sports ‘focus’ weekends in each of
                                                                                     the main towns to encourage more
                                                                                     take- up of the wide range of sports on
                                                                                     offer and encourage start-ups where there
                                                                                     are specific gaps.

    Walking is rewarding and health giving, it is free and accessible.

     -    targeted activities for children and
          young people who may be excluded
          from paid activities
     -    unlock resources by publishing
          equipment, premises, skills which
          could aid community groups to start
          new activities without start up costs.                      One of the biggest problems for Culture
                                                                      is to make everyone aware of the huge
                                                                      impact it has on every aspect of life!
Enjoy learning for life ...
                                                                      The value of the Cultural Strategy will be to
q    We are committed to ensuring training
                                                                      highlight the positive actions the Council and
     and development needs are met for all
     our staff.
                                                                      the Partners make over the next five years.

q    We aim to meet national standards such                           Our commitment to equalities, social
     as “Quest” in our sports centres, Museum                         inclusion and life long learning underpins
     registration standards and Tourist Board                         every aspect of our service provision.
     accreditation for accommodation
                                                                      We also share for our District the vision set
q     By providing a continuous programme of                          out in the East of England Development
     exhibitions, events, concerts and courses                        Agency Strategy .... Prosperity and
     led by professionals, we can raise                               Opportunity for All - the East of England
     expectations and skills.
                                                                      Regional Economic Strategy “to make the
                                                                      East of England a world class economy,
                                                                      renowned for its knowledge base, the creativity
                                                                      and enterprise of its people and the quality of
                                                                      life of all who live and work here”.

                                                                      We can only solve problems by working
                                                                      in Partnership and we will only achieve
                                                                      by working on the same goals.

                                                                      These shared visions, aims and priorities will
                                                                      be translated into actions and delivered
                                                                      through the Council’s business planning
                                                                      process, by attracting external funding to both
                                                                      the Council and Partners in the voluntary
                                                                      sector and by joint projects through PACT,
                                                                      Living East and Celebrating Essex partners.

Artist Ann Schweggman - Fielding, working with young people at
Braintree District Museum’s Learning For Life Centre.


  Our Strategy has been formed by consulting
  through many organisations and individuals

  -   Wide consultation through Living East.

  -   All the Local Authorities in Essex and the
      County and Unitary Authorities which               If you want to know more .....
      make up the geographic County of Essex.
                                                         Log on to
  -   People who live in the District through
      the Parish Clusters, research carried out
      for the Community Plan involving 5000
                                                         You can also contact us at ....
  -   Face to face interviews with people in             Enjoy Braintree District, c/o Box 1,Town
      the following organisations:                       Hall Centre, Market Square, Braintree, Essex.
                                                         CM7 3YG Telephone No. 01376 325266
          Braintree Business Council            has the Regional
         Town Centre Strategy Groups                     Strategy for the East of England.
         The Sports Development Forum
         Braintree District Arts Council
         Braintree District Museum Trust
                                                         sex.pdf has the Cultural Strategy for the
         The Essex Gardens Trust (Braintree Area)
                                                         County of Essex.
  -   Officers of Braintree District Council
      working across Community, Leisure and
      Culture. Councillors and Chief Officers.
      Even children between 5 and 11 were
      asked “what their favourite things to do
      were” in a survey carried out in schools,
      libraries and play schemes.


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