The Eldonian community was set up by local residents looking to provide improved housing in an area which was suffering from large unemployment, poor urban housing and a lack of local facilities.
The 150 year old community was defiant in the face of being displaced from their homes and set about creating the vibrant Eldonian Village that we know today. This social housing development, which was created through community strength and determination boasts of over 400 houses, a community sports centre, a nursery and a community village hall. The Eldonian community were able to transform industrial wasteland into a thriving community infrastructure, it is this togetherness and willpower which remains throughout the community today and has led to the Eldonian Village winning the World Habitat Award 2004.
From the success of the Eldonian Village was borne the Eldonian Group Limited (EGL) in 1988 after the realisation that the creation of a sustainable community meant more than housing. EGL was formed to ensure that a much wider social and economic regeneration framework was implemented which included the development of commercial, physical and economic projects for the benefit of the community.
EGL has developed and grown from a grant dependent organisation to become a fully sustainable and successful social business which has remained true to its social aims of:
These aims run through the core of EGL and the development and strength of the business is created through innovation and enterprise, leadership and vision and strong strategic partnerships.
The Eldonian community were determined that they would not be displaced from their community and the development of the Village has given these people a strong position within society and a voice to tackle social issues and take these issues to a central governmental level. The Eldonians have welcomed many political and high profile visitors over the years including Prince Charles, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and most recently Ed Miliband.
During its exisence, EGL has undertaken a number of exciting projects. Examples of these include:
The Eldonwoods Day Nursery
A 60-place nursery employing local people, built in partnership with the Littlewoods organisation. The nursery, now operated by Kids Unlimited through a partnership arrangement and offers childcare facilities for the local and the wider business community.
The Elaine Norris Sports Centre
A purpose built community sports centre located in the heart of the Eldonian Village.
The Eldonian Village Hall
A meeting place, pub and social venue for all the community. Employing local people, hosting many local sports leagues, events and charitable functions, and serving as an attraction for canal-users (especially during the annual Mersey River Festival) the Village Hall is a thriving community business, encouraging interaction and continued community participation in the area.
In 2003, EGL created a gas servicing company called F60. The company worked in partnership with Registered Social Landlords and employment agencies in order to promote access to the gas sector through raising awareness, providing training and employment opportunities.
Canal Rangers Service
Created in June 2007, the Canal Rangers operated along the Liverpool stretch of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. They carried out maintenance work, undertook educational projects with the local primary school, link into local canal tourism initiatives, and patrol the canal. The Rangers linked into local community groups and carry out local projects, such as a canal memories film with elderly people and new flower and bulb planting with the local primary school.
The project provided employed training opportunities for local residents who were previously not in work.
Home Office Guide Neighbourhoods
As part of the Governments Guiding Neighbourhoods, we provided the dissemination of information about the sustainability of communities to organisations from across the UK.