Many residents, when asked “what they love about Sneinton” speak of the sense of community, the multi-cultural diverse demographics and of the large amount of community action that always seems to be going on in the area. But look beyond this first impression and you will find that loads of work still needs to be done for it to be a strong community.  Community groups from different parts of the area historically have not gelled, children that go to Oliver Hind youth club do not naturally go to the Greenway centre. Researcher Laura Alvarez recently observed that “One of the assets Sneinton community value the most is the multicultural character of the population. However, cultural segregation came up in research as one of the key challenges for the area.  How can the community stitch groups together?”.

The annual Sneinton Festival, the local Councillors and many activists are striving to “stitch” the community together or to build better community cohesion but factors such as deprivation, transient migrant and student communities and the patch-worked geography make the task very difficult… But not impossible..

Could the  built up environment be partially responsible for the cohesion (or lack of) of its residents? There are many organisations such as the Place Alliance that understand that “the quality of our built environment has a profound influence on people’s lives and that place quality has a value – cultural, economic, environmental, social – that needs to be recognized by everyone”. In Sneinton the Sneinton Neighbourhood Forum  truly believe in this which is why they are determined to have their say and are exploring whether or not the developing Sneinton Neighbourhood plan is the best instrument to achieve this, ensuring that the future development of the area thinks about community cohesion (links to wider area/places for people to socialise).  Health benifits iof social interaction According to the Rosetto Effect study the better the cohesion in a community the longer the life expectancy. Author: Shaffer, Carolyn R., Anundsen, Kristen wrote a book called The-healing-powers-of-community-how-creating-community-can-enrich-even-prolong-your-life.  Based on researchers in 1960 who found that there was a strong link between the healthiness of the community members of Rosetto, Pennsylvania and their strong sense of community and camaraderie. When this eroded by the ’70s, the health of the people also deteriorated. The Rosetto findings show that interpersonal support may prolong life and may even save it. The life expectancy of Sneintonians is 10 years below the national average. This is incredible for an area so strong  in community activity. So why are Sneintonians dying so young?

Neighborhoods are  geographically localised communities and often social communities with considerable face-to-face interaction among members. They are more than roads and buildings its the people (community) that make a neighbourhood.

Sneinton Market Historical picture
Sneinton Market

The Our Sneinton project has picked up on the fact that in Sneinton there are very few public places in the heart of the neighbourhood that encourage social interaction. Sneinton residents can no longer get support from local Councillors to put on events on Sneinton Market or the King Edwards Park although they are both very much a part of Sneinton historical identity. The reason for this is that these are now in the St Ann’s ward. Intrinsically, the largest community group that operates from King Edwards Park and Sneinton Elements is called STOP (Sneinton Tenants Outreach Project).  In terms of Sneinton cohesion this is not helpful. If divide and rule is the process of “gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into pieces that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy, could this be the reason why there has been resistance to the Sneinton Neighborhood Forums proposed area of Designation where formal or informal networks of community based groups have operated and forms a clear boundary that include these key sites of social historical identity?  Hence “When Sneinton is not Sneinton”

Sneinton Asylum, King Edwards Park, now in St Ann’s ward

One of the purposes of the Our Sneinton Project is to support the Sneinton Neighbourhood Forum to build evidence to support the developing Neighbourhood Plan so the final part of this blog will provide a brief update.

Sneinton Neighbourhood Forum (SNF) is open to anyone who lives or works in the area. The Forum formed in December 2013 in order to discuss the idea of a Neighbourhood Plan for Sneinton and to promote and improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of the area.

When Sneinton is not Sneinton. The Forum and Plan Area were officially ratified by Nottingham City Council on 24th February 2015, making us the first Neighbo-SNFurhood Forum in Nottingham! Our original Plan Area included the Creative Quarter and Sneinton Market within its boundary. However, as you look at the designated Plan Area (below) you will find that part of the Creative Quarter and Sneinton Market are no longer part of Sneinton’s Neighbourhood Planning Area. This decision has come from Nottingham City Council. SNF have thought long and hard about appealing this very decision however, recent case law in other areas of the country has shown us that this can be a long, costly and unsuccessful process. If you/your business previously fell in our boundary but no longer do so we would love to hear from you.

Sneinton Neighbourhood Plan proposed Area including Sneinton Market
Sneinton Neighbourhood Area of Designation with Sneinton Market removed

So “what next” for the Forum? They are still committed to enabling residents, local businesses and groups to come together through meetings (and online) to discuss local development and planning issues, share information and meet with elected representatives and officers responsible for planning and other local public services.

Together, with the support from the Our Sneinton team the Forum will develop a draft Sneinton Neighbourhood Plan, based on the views of Sneintonians which will ultimately become part of the Statutory Development Plan for the area (if it gets approved by Sneinton residents following a referendum in 2017) and will ensure that the views of Sneinton residents are considered in the future planning and development process.

The Plan will set out what the local community requires in terms of building types, their location and appearance in the future. It also deals with the spaces and places in the area such as our streets and squares.

Newsletter front pages
Our Sneinton Newsletter

If you care about the Sneinton area and want the chance to get your ideas into the Plan please get in touch.  You can also get more updates through the Our Sneinton Newsletter. (Issue 2  OurSneintonNewsletter02-WEB) or you could attend our last ‘Our Sneinton’ event (below). Our sneinton May event


Looking for a Sense of Place

Looking for a Sense of Place

in sneinton i feel

Our Sneinton team are working with Laura Alvarez, a researcher from the University of Nottingham who carried out a detailed place survey of Sneinton (analysis 300 listening forms) looking for assets and improvement opportunities. She found various public places with potential…



Underused green areas:

Some public patches come across as “leftover spaces”, these are neglected and even host anti-social behaviours but they can offer a huge opportunity.
They can become blank canvas
for local neighbours to take ownership, establishing “Place Caring”

Findon Green 2
Fendon Green., Sneinton, Nottingham

groups and even for deciding what they would like to see happening there … a communal barbecue? a children playground? an urban allotment? an outdoor gym? an orchard?

 reasons to live in sneinton

Underused public buildings:

Certain public buildings in the area are rich in historic and architectural value but are not well maintained, underused and are not reaching their potential. The Sneinton community needs to come together and discuss feasible ideas to protect and reactivate these assets. The Neighbourhood Plan offers an excell
ent opportunity to give weight to residents’ plans and visions for these buildings.



Undervalued heritage:

Public places with heritage are powerful triggers of communal identity, pride an
d sense of belonging. Sneinton should be proud of their achievements on the Gre120en’s Windmill and the Sneinton Market projects but there is still more work to be done. Other assets, such as the William Booth Museum, the streets that were bombed during WWII and the historic allotments seem to go unnoticed.

The area is packed with historic value and all these assets could unite forces to create an interconnected heritage trail which could offer great value to the city of Nottingham as a whole. Coordination is needed for Sneinton to become one of Nottingham’s strongest historic neighbourhood.

social bonding in sneinton

we have a voiceLaura also analysed a sample of the Sneinton Vision/Our Sneintons Community Organising consultations on “A vision for Sneinton”, some of the results are summarised in the  images below, produced by Isabelle Ratliff. To find out more send an email to oursneinton@gmail.com .

Laura and the Our Sneinton Team have a series of events coming up which we will be presenting findings and continuing to engage with you. You can catch us on Sneinton Market for St Georges Day 23/4/16 and A World of Food 28/4/16 and I love Sneinton 2 26/5/16. We are also holding a Know Your Community Rights workshop  16/4/16 (for more information on upcoming dates in the  Our Sneinton 2nd Edition Newsletter which is available to download here OurSneintonNewsletter02-WEB. It has much more about the progress of the Our Sneinton project.

Not had your say yet?   You can take part in our new Supporting Our Sneinton listening right here.   You can also keep up to date with the progress of Sneinton’s developing Neighbourhood Plan by visiting Sneinton Neighbourhood Forum













It really is “Our Sneinton”

It really is “Our Sneinton”

Our Sneinton – Its more than just a fancy name. Since the last blog there has been loads happening. Over 100 residents have taken part in one of our consultations by attending one of our pop up consultations or by attending the Our Sneinton consultation event which is demonstrating a willingness for residents to have their say. Don’t worry if you missed the event, you can have your say right here (first 50 win an Our Sneinton mug).

Newsletter photo fof wordpress
Our Sneinton Newsletter


5000 copies of the Our Sneinton newsletter, packed with useful information about Community Rights, an update on Sneinton’s developing Neighbourhood Plan and guidance of how you can get involved was distributed at homes across Sneinton.  Surprisingly, as a result of receiving the newsletter, many residents have contacted us with ideas for community project. In some cases these contacts have had very little to do with Community Rights, for example, one resident needed support in setting up an all female “mother and toddlers” swimming group whilst another residents got in touch for support setting up a project giving free beautician treatments within the community.  We have been able to support these residents by referring them to Sneinton Alchemy’s Street Level Project which is a community organising project aimed at supporting the residents of Sneinton to take action on issues that are important to them. It is great that the Our Sneinton project continues to unearth community activists.

Trent Basin
Artist impression of new development in Sneinton

 Distribution of the newsletter also led to Our Team being contacted by Property Developers Wilmot Dixon who are developing homes in the Trent Basin which will provide 350 low-energy apartments and family homes designed around community spaces. This contact led to a meeting with Wilmot Dixon representatives and the Our Sneinton team. The developers were keen to engage with the local community. We were able to discuss cohesion between the new and old Sneinton and one idea is to explore the naming of new roads after local heroes William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army), Bendigo (champion boxer in the early 18’00’s) sand local Sneinton based scientists George Green

Our Sneinton Crowd shot
Our Sneinton “I Love Sneinton” Community event


The highlight for the month has to be the “Our Sneinton” consultation event which was attended by over 130 people. The event was supported by Growin Spaces community project  who catered for the event.  Growin Spaces (working with 70 Architecture students from Nottingham Trent University) displayed and consulted on the 6 best eco building designs that were shortlisted from 14, the winner of which will be built on an old allotment site that has not been accessible to the community for over 20 years. (See winning design below)

Eco design
Eco building. The winning design


We also collaborated with The Send Project who are working with the Our Sneinton team to manage 6 criminology  students from the Trent University.

The moto of this combined sub-project called Supporting Our Sneinton is “if you  don’t use it (community assets/centres) you might lose it”. Thus Supporting Our Sneinton seeks to mobilise volunteers to get involved in there community centres whilst discussing how the community centres can be more relevant to the community. These students have received basic community organising training and were able to lead up a mini consultation with all that attended

Lisa and paddy t

the event. Laura Alvez (researcher from the University of Nottingham)  presented her findings from the Sneinton Place Assessment which was carried out with the support from Sneinton based community organisers .  A team of doctors carrying out a project called the Global Health Fellowship – Sneinton Health Needs Assessment presented their findings from consultations carried out in Sneinton and carried out a poll on the day.  We will report the findings in the next Our Sneinton newsletter which is due out at the end of March 2016.


All in all its been a great month with many residents being mobilised to take action, many more new members to Sneinton Neighbourhood Forum and many new community organising volunteers activated. The challenges to this project stem from the some existing powerful stakeholders that are not used to working with an empowered community and lack confidence in the Localism Act. The Our Sneinton team are making much progress on this but the work continues. On a positive note this project has connected seemingly unconnected issues (health, antisocial behaviour, saving/using assets to getting involved with the local community centre. There seems to be much more of an appetite for collaboration in Sneinton. #communityorganisingistheglue

Congratulations to the 16 Newly Qualified Community Organisers that received their qualification at the Our Sneinton event.

Supporting Sneinton Stall
Supporting Our Sneinton notice board at the event


Our Sneinton

Our Sneinton


Welcome to the Our Sneinton blog,  keeping you updated on the current and future status of the developing Sneinton Neighbourhood Plan and letting you know about your Community Rights and how you can use them.

Our Sneinton builds on the Sneinton Vision Project and the work carried out by the local Community Organisers over the past 4 years who collected much of the data used to inform the Sneinton Neighbourhood Forum and were instrumental in setting the forum up.

YS event shot

 0ur Sneinton is all about you, the residents of Sneinton and ensuring that your thoughts and views about Sneinton are not only heard but acted upon! So for example, this could include where you would like to see a new children’s play area built or your objections to proposed traffic calming measures or what you would like to see done with an old derelict building in the area. Our Sneinton is all about giving local people a voice in decisions affecting them and their neighbourhood.

Our Sneinton aims to empower local people and communities by firstly, raising awareness of the 2011 Localism Act, which grants communities a say in what does and does not take place within their neighbourhood. Secondly, gathering the thoughts, concerns, hopes and aspiration of residents of Sneinton, and thirdly using the wealth of knowledge and Information gathered to develop a Neighbourhood Plan of action for Sneinton.

SNF meeting

Following on going community engagement It has become apparent that very few people even know about the Localism Act, never mind the power it comes with.  Therefore, over the coming months, the ‘Our Sneinton’ team will be out-and-about in the Sneinton speaking to locals to not only find out what your issues and views are but more importantly what you wish to see done about them.

We will be knocking on doors, talking to people in the street and at public meetings both formally and informally. We will also be hosting a series of ‘Our Sneinton’ consultation events, in which members of the local community can come along and air their views. These will be consultations with a difference, the first one is a community valentines  special on 11th February at St Christopher’s Church Hall. For more information or to book your place follow this link HERE.  You may also see the ‘Our Sneinton’ Consultation Roadshow which will visit 22 sites in 22 weeks at key locations around the area.

roadshow pic

If you do see the pop up Gazebo near you, please come and have a chat with the team – a hot coffee and a warm welcome awaits.

We will keep you updated on the progress of Our Sneinton by way of a quarterly newsletter, delivered through every door within the Sneinton Neighbourhood Plan area and through this Our Sneinton blog, . Information about our activities can also be found on the Sneinton Neighbourhood Forum website. Or you contact the Our Sneinton team at oursneinton@gmail.com