Ther Net 68 opens in Eastham 2012

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undefinedA Wirral vicar's concept for a community forum has led to the transformation of an empty building into a local asset that will benefit all. An official opening (pictured) was held recently in Eastham, attended by Alison McGovern MP; deputy mayor of Wirral Cllr Dave Mitchell; and the Bishop of Birkenhead, the Right Reverend Keith Sinclair.

The Rev Beth Glover (pictured below) of St Mary's Church in Eastham used the community forum to consult local people for their ideas. 

The Net @ 68 is the name of the new project, which also features a breakfast club, an after-school computer club, a money management course, and drop-in facilities for job-seekers.

The venture is based at 68 Clifton Avenue, Eastham, on the Mill Park housing estate. It is funded by Wirral Council’s Empty Shop Funding programme.

The project has strong backing from Bishop Keith, who said: "The Net is a great new partnership between St Mary’s Parish Church , Millpark Tenants and Residents Committee and Wirral Partnership Homes.

"May the Net be a place  of welcome, good food, new friendships and energy that will help bring God’s blessing to the whole community."

The opening of the project was widely publicised. A team from regional ITV covered it for Granada Reports.

Vicar Beth Glover said: “We are very grateful to the council for their support and to Wirral Partnership Homes, who have let us have the premises, a former shop, for a peppercorn rent.

“We asked the local community what they would like to see and what would be most helpful to them in this revitalized space. Then we did what they told us – it was as simple as that.

“We are working with volunteers who are offering their services to teach visitors about healthy eating and how to prepare their own soups and breads. We are doing practical things and also building up lots of trust locally.”

Cllr Pat Hackett, Wirral Council cabinet member for regeneration, housing strategy and planning said: “The Empty Shops Fund has supported a wide variety of community projects, turning empty buildings into exciting new ventures.

“Some of the projects have been educational, some have been fun; The Net @ 68 is going to offer a huge selection of different opportunities for local people.”

The new facility stands opposite The Net @ 73, which is a charity shop already run by Eastham parish, based in an old Wirral Partnerships Homes’ old rent offices.

For more information, telephone the Reverend Beth Glover on 0151 327 2182.