Time capsule burial marks regeneration success

Local residents have joined representatives of Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Compendium Living as well as Stoke-on-Trent South MP Robert Flello to celebrate a major regeneration success. With the final phase of the Weston Heights development about to begin, the former Coalville area in Weston Coyney has been completely transformed.

With just the fourth and final phase of 80 homes still to come, the Council and developer Compendium Living (a joint venture between Lovell and the Riverside Group) felt the time was right to celebrate the work of The Coalville Partnership, which made the project happen. After years of campaigning by local residents, work finally got underway in 2006. The area is now utterly transformed, and forms a crucial element of Stoke City Council's broader regeneration ambitions.

The event, held on Thursday 23 January, was marked by the burial of a time capsule in the development's park. This provided a perfect way to record for posterity the huge changes that have happened on this site, and provide a fascinating social history insight for whoever unearths the time capsule in 50 or more years' time. The capsule contains a number of items including photos from before, during and after the regeneration; interviews with the people involved; photos of children currently at Weston Coyney Infant School; a sample of different sweets available today; articles from the Sentinel and more.

Dave Bullock, Managing Director, Compendium Living, said: "It was wonderful to see so many people at today's event, many of whom have played a central role in creating the new Weston Heights community. Seeing local children here too reminds us all of why this regeneration project was so important to the future of the area. We feel genuinely privileged to have played a part in this project and have enjoyed working with our partners for this new community."

Cllr Ruth Rosenau, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transportation, Stoke City Council added: "By working in partnership with Compendium Living, the Homes and Communities Agency, Riverside Housing and the local community, we helped to create a vision for the future that would transform this corner of our city into a thriving, sustainable and desirable place to live. Regeneration is neither quick nor easy, but the story of Weston Heights shows just what can be achieved with the right vision, the right strategy and the right partners."

Ernie Clarke, Chairman of the Coalville Residents' Association, has lived on the estate since 1954. He added: "We started campaigning for change here in 1999, and have been part of the Coalville Partnership from the very beginning. We've seen massive change over the last 10 years and today celebrates the fact that the Partnership achieved what it set out to do, even with one phase left to build."