IT IS an area that used to be notoriously run-down and intimidating.
But the latest step in the regeneration of Broadlaw Walk in Fareham saw dozens of local schoolchildren, families and volunteers help design 35 mosaic tiles for a winding walkway through the middle of the development.
Youngsters from St Judes Catholic School, Ranvilles Junior School, Heathfield Special School, Wallisdean Primary School, Redlands Primary School and Neville Lovett School all helped with the project.
And many went along for the pathway’s unveiling in the packed square.
Diane Kimberley of Devonshire Avenue in Fareham was there with her children Isabelle, eight, and Megan, five. Mrs Kimberley said: ‘I think it’s absolutely brilliant. Izzy loved being involved, she was so proud to be part of it.
‘It’s changed such an awful lot around here – it looks wonderful now.’
Lewis Winson, 10, from Heathfield Special School, helped design some of the tiles. His mum Ceri Winson said: ‘I’m really chuffed for Lewis. This is the first time I’ve been down here since the redevelopment and it’s so different to what it used to be – it’s so much more welcoming.’
The project has been driven by volunteers at Broadlaw Community Space with support from the nearby Ashcroft Arts Centre, and the participants worked with professional mosaic artist Liz De’Ath on their designs.
They were inspired by the theme of community and asked ‘What does New Broadlaw mean to you?’
Sylvia Grove of Crossfell Walk in Fareham has been volunteering at the development’s community space since it opened three years ago. She said: ‘We did have more shops in the old Broadlaw, but this is definitely much better now.
‘All the things that have been done here have made it a lot better and I’m hoping the youngsters appreciate it.’
Suzanne Clifton is another long-standing volunteer at the community space. She was recently given Fareham’s citizen of honour award for her efforts.
She said: ‘Everybody puts so much hard work into what we do here, and we’re all trying to build community support. Projects like this are amazing.’
Charlotte Constantine, Ashcroft’s arts development officer said: ‘The ideas and designs from the local residents and schoolchildren are so creative and original, and it is a great way for the community to influence the area.’
Hazel Warwick, asset management director at First Wessex said: ‘Local residents of all ages have been involved in this exciting project and it was great to see residents taking ownership of their community. This event is an excellent opportunity to showcase the work that residents do.’
The walkway was unveiled by deputy mayor of Fareham and local ward councillor Cllr Dennis Steadman.