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End Of 2023 Update

An end-of-year update for all of our community and to everyone following the progress of the project.

We are aware that the lack of events that have run this year has limited our chances to talk directly to people and may have given the impression that our work had stopped, please be assured that this is not the case. While changes in most of our members’ personal lives have presented challenges, we remain committed to seeing this through and delivering something tangible for the community.

In October we entered negotiations with an experienced bid writer who, our members decided, would be required to help with applications for the capital funding. We need this in order to complete the building works that are required to get the doors open on Project Hive.

We can now confirm that James Johnson of Johnson’s Grants For Non-Profits will be working on our behalf to identify the most appropriate funding streams. Locally, he recently supported the New Parks Adventure Playground to secure funding for their outside play area. We are currently working alongside James to complete expressions of interest for several funding streams to split the total cost needed between them.

In addition to this, as we go into the new year, Western Ward Community Enterprise will become Western Ward CIC. We hope that becoming a Community Interest Company will provide assurance that we exist to benefit our community and not for private profit.

In January we are also planning a series of consultation meetings with stakeholders that will give you a chance to feedback to our group your views, opinions and hopes for the project. A lot has happened since we last did this in early 2020.

We wish you all a happy and healthy new year and look forward to seeing you soon.

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Thank You Rollers!

We would like a say a big thank you to everyone who came along to the Western Park Pumpkin Roll 2023. We are pleased to say that the weather was fantastic (for the second year running).

As you can see from the pictures below, lots of fun was had by all!

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Project Hive Finance Update

You may be wondering where the project stands from a fundraising point of view as another year draws to a close. To date, the lion’s share of our funds have come from the local community, predominantly via supporting our events. Broken down in simplified terms: 

Income to date: 

 Money raised during our 2019 crowdfund £26,500 

Money raised from other events and donations £18,700 

Giving a total from fundraising of £45,200. 

Expenditure to date: 

 Surveys & Searches:  £3300

Architects Fees £23,500 

Planning Application: £950 

Public Liability Insurance: £600 

Giving a total of £28,350. 

This leaves the current balance of the WWCE bank account at £16,850 

The next stage of the project requires the capital funding to get the building re-developed. We will not be asking the community for this and will be seeking funding from national streams. We are in negotiations with an experienced bid writer who we feel will give us the best chance of securing this. We will provide updates on this soon. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

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The Western Park Pumpkin Roll 2023

The Western Park Pumpkin Roll returns this October. On Saturday 28th from 1:30 pm, we will be rolling pumpkins down the hill behind the Bowls Club in Western Park. There will be a charge of £2.50 per entrant and competitors will be grouped by age to make the competition fair. There will also be prizes for the best-decorated pumpkins, so come along and join in the fun!

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It is with regret that we are forced to cancel this year’s event as we have not had enough people sign up to build scarecrows.

Thank you to those who have shown support for the Scarecrow Trail by signing up to take part this year, your entry fee will, of course, be refunded in full. 

We do hope that this is not the end for Scarecrow Trail and will work on other ways for this to be successful again in the future.  If you have any ideas on how to encourage more to join in, then please feel free to get in touch.

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Project Hive Allotment – Summer Holiday Children’s Activity Days

Do you want to get your children away from their screens for a while? Struggling to find engaging childcare? Project Hive has taken on an allotment from where we will be running activity days during the summer. We will be offering a range of outdoor activities from building bug hotels, painting, clay work, etc. to helping establish the allotment plot and planting. To book your slot go to Places are limited.

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Scarecrow Trail 2023 Is Out Of This World!

The Western Park Scarecrow Trail is returning for its fifth year this September. The theme for this year’s entries will be “Out Of This World”.

Will your entry boldly go and take one small step into the final frontier? Or a giant leap to a galaxy far, far away? We’ll be right here, but remember, in Western Park, everyone can hear you scream! There is a whole universe of potential characters out there, so get your thinking cap on and let’s make this a year to remember!

Registration is now open for scarecrows and “at home” stalls.

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Scarecrow Trail 2022 Final Roundup

As the dust settles on this year’s scarecrow trail, we’d like to take a moment to round up a few things. Firstly the top three scarecrows, as voted for by trail-goers.

In third place:

In second place:

and the winner of favorite scarecrow this year was…

For the first time this year, the makers of the winning scarecrow received an engraved trophy to commemorate the achievement. We were delighted to present the Hemming family with their prize, well done!

In our eyes, each and every scarecrow that made an appearance over the weekend was a winner. Without your willingness to join in and have a go there wouldn’t be a scarecrow trail. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

We would also like to reiterate our thanks to the Western Ward Councillors for their help in covering a large portion of the costs associated with putting on the event and also say a massive thank you to Marissa and Neil, owners of ScruffyThomas for donating their profits of £330 from the weekend to the grand total.

Speaking of which…

We are ecstatic to announce that the trail raised a record £3015 for Project Hive this year!

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All Of The 2022 Scarecrows

Another year, and another crop of exceptional scarecrows. We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who made a scarecrow, ran a stall, and helped behind the scenes. If you came along to visit the trail we love you and we are truly humbled by the continued support of our community (and beyond).

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The Countdown To The 2022 Scarecrow Trail Has Begun!

It’s soon!

We have just closed registration for entries for this year’s Scarecrow Trail and the final countdown to the event has begun. We will be sticking to the tried and tested formula of dual map pick-up locations once again, one on either side of Hinckley Road. You will be able to buy a guide at either 17 Dorchester Road or from outside the front of St. Anne’s Church Hall. Both of these locations will be offering Tap-To-Pay alongside cash. The Dorchester Road site will also be selling a selection of cakes and the St. Annes’s one will be offering Ice Creams. Additionally, on Saturday only, a selection of crafters, from outside of the area, will be offering their wares from inside the hall.

Alongside the scarecrows, there will be over fifteen stalls dotted around the route to visit with many familiar faces from last year’s event returning, so many sure you stop by and say hello.

There will be a chance to win a prize for those who can successfully solve the puzzle found on the maps (clues found around the trail). Don’t forget to vote for your favourite scarecrow, this year’s winner will receive a unique trophy!

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Announcing The Return Of The Western Park Scarecrow Trail For 2022

The Western Park Scarecrow Trail returns for its fourth outing this September 3rd and 4th. The theme for this year’s entrants will be ‘100 Years Of Our BBC’ to coincide with the celebrations of this magnificent milestone. You can draw inspiration from any aspect of the BBC, any programme, radio show, or film.

More details of how you can register to be a scarecrow maker or stallholder will be published shortly, keep an eye on our Facebook page for the very latest.

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Announcing The ‘Art In Nature’ Community Calendar

In 2020, with the help of budding photographers in our local community, we put together a popular local calendar called “Parklife” which raised a spectacular £500 for Project Hive.

This year, we would like to do something similar and from today we are inviting your entries for our Art In Nature” calendar. Your photograph should be your interpretation of that title, it can be anything; animal, vegetable, or mineral. The single most important thing to remember is that it should be something that you think other people would love to look at for a month next year. We will be accepting entries until Sunday 2nd October, after which time an independent panel of judges will choose their favourite dozen which will go on to make up the 2023 calendar which will be on sale by the end of November.

Email your entries in full resolution together with your name and age to All photographs must be presented in landscape format (like a TV screen) and should not have been previously published. Good luck!

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It’s Been A While…

We are sorry if it feels like a while since we’ve talked, particularly as we were not able to hold an event in December last year. Don’t worry though, we haven’t quietly forgotten the project. Behind the scenes, we like to reassure you that, as always, the wheels have been in motion. In December we held a formal costing meeting with our architect. In this, we learned the significant effect on the costings for the project that Covid and the global situation over the last couple of years have had. While we all remain as committed as ever to seeing the project through and getting the building open, the new numbers did make us pause for thought. These capital costs for the building work will be met by applying to other funding streams such as the Lottery, nonetheless, the increases mean we will now be asking for more money.

Our fundraising events have always been about bringing the community together. To build links and help us keep you in the loop while also providing the finance to make things like architects’ drawings and the seemingly endless amount of surveyor’s reports that are needed before work can start happening. With that in mind, we are pleased to report that our 2022 events calendar is already taking shape with the Scarecrow Trail a lock to return on the first weekend in September and seasonal events already planned in December. We are currently trying to tie down a date for something in early spring too, more on that soon.

We are always looking for people to help out at our events. If you think that you could support with things like baking, running a stall, or motivating your neighbours to sign up for an event to make it even bigger and better, please drop us a message on Facebook or speak to one of us when you see us about.

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The Western Park Pumpkin Roll Resurrects For 2021

Resurrecting this year after a hiatus last time out is the Western Park Pumpkin Roll. On Saturday 30th October from 2pm we will be holding this popular event for the fourth time. If you aren’t familiar with the event then the basic premise is to race your pumpkin down one of the hills in the park to see whose can reach the bottom the fastest. Anyone who has been along before knows that we love it when the competitors embrace the spirit of the season by donning their favourite Halloween costume but the weather can sometimes be “interesting” so bare that in mind when you are planning your outfit.

Bring your spook-tacularly decorated pumpkin along to our stand located near to the car park and play park in Western Park just behind the toilet block. Here you can register for the rolling competition for £2.50. You will also be entered into a “Best Decorated Pumpkin” contest. There will be refreshments available here as well as tickets for our spook raffle. Everything we raise on the day will be donated to Project Hive.

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Western Park Scarecrow Trail 2021 – The World Of Books –

The residents of Western Park invite you back for a third year to celebrate the creativity of our community. Follow the Western Park Scarecrow Trail around our streets and find all of the scarecrows. This year the trail has the theme of “The World Of Books”. Remember that there is more to books than just what goes on between the covers!

The trail runs from 10 am until 5 pm on both days.

Following its success last time, we will once again be selling guide maps from two locations one on either side of Hinckley Road A47. One of the stands can be found at 17 Dorchester Road, the other at 96 Letchworth Road. For the first time, we will be able to accept contactless payments at these locations for guide maps, refreshments, and raffle tickets. Visitors to the trail will be able to vote for their favorite scarecrow with the builder winning a prize. Voting will be open online until midnight on 5th September. A prize is also available for one person who successfully solves the number puzzle which can be found on some of the scarecrows. To qualify for entry you must answer each of the individual puzzles and then combine those answers to find an overall solution. A winner will be chosen at random from the correct answers submitted online.

Scruffythomas will also be operating a refreshments stall out of 120 Glenfield Road and there will be a number of craft stalls run by our local crafting community to visit at residential addresses along the route. The locations of these stalls will be clearly marked on the map.

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WWCE Press Release Following Successful Planning Application

WWCE is delighted to announce that the road to a new community space for in Western Park for everyone has reached its most significant milestone yet, our plans have been approved!

After Leicester City Council put several small parcels of land along the Hinckley Road edge of Western Park up for sale in June 2016, Western Ward Community Enterprise (WWCE), a volunteer-run group made up of local residents has been working tirelessly to secure the ongoing use of part of these sites for use by the community. Following a successful crowdfunding campaign in late 2019 that raised significant funds, WWCE has been working with GSS Architecture to draw up ambitious plans to redevelop the site from its present derelict state.

The former “Eco House” was a symbol of Leicester’s status as the UK’s first Environment City. It was an example of the latest technologies available within environmental design when was opened by HRH Prince Charles in 1989. Both WWCE and GSS carefully considered the history of the site in order to respect the environmental ethos of the house, by the creation of a sustainable, eco-friendly, and bio-diverse development at the heart of the community dubbed Project Hive.

In addition to the variety of community spaces that will be available within Project Hive, there will also be both indoor and outdoor teaching areas, available for use by local schools. Speaking of the recent success for this project, Anna McAuley, Chair of WWCE, said, “This is such a tremendous milestone for the members of the WWCE, but also for the community in its entirety. GSS have been incredibly supportive and offered us unconditional advice all the way through. From this point onwards, the hard work begins. Finding approximately £500K for the build is no mean feat, but we hope that we can forge some fantastic partnerships with local businesses and educational facilities to keep the costs down as much as possible.”

Andrew Vallis, Architect leading the project at GSSArchitecture, said, “Working on this project to achieve this significant milestone has been an extremely rewarding experience, with an interesting site and an excellent client, whose desire to do something for the community as a whole has resulted in the success of this application. This approval is a symbol of WWCE’s drive and commitment to bring back a piece of Leicester’s history, as a usable asset for the whole community, respecting the site’s past and carrying on the sustainable intentions which have been an important part of Leicester’s story for many years.”

If you would like to find out more, contact us through our website

An artist’s impression of Project Hive based on the approved plans.
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Planning Permission Granted For Project Hive

We are delighted to announce that 491 days after we initially submitted it, today planning permission was granted for our proposed works to bring the disused and derelict site of the former Eco House.

None of this would have been possible without the incredible fundraising efforts of our community over the last five years. It is their desire to keep this piece of land in community hands that has kept us driving towards this milestone, especially during the crowdfund of late 2019/early 2020 where we were able to specifically finance the architects and surveys needed to submit planning.

This is a huge step towards bringing the site back to life and into use by our community and beyond. Now the challenge of raising the capital finance needed to complete the works begins!