remembering the past
In the early 1990’s, South West Shropshire suffered hugely as a result of the recession. The town’s two largest employers, FarmGas and Walters of Ludlow departed and the local economy looked doomed. A local regeneration project was jointly proposed by South Shropshire District Council and the local Parishes. This was presented to Central Government for large scale funding under their new Rural Challenge Fund.
‘A Lifeline for Bishops Castle’, was born. It was funded to the tune of about £6m, (of match funding and capital/revenue), in order to carryout major regeneration work in the wider area. This would span from Chirbury in the North across to Llanfair Waterdine, Newcastle on Clun, Aston on Clun, Wentnor and Stiperstones. A limited company was formed to do the work. It was called The Bishop’s Castle & District Lifeline Co. Ltd.
The project ran for three years and achieved major results. These included the build and development of three new village halls, the refurbishment of the old Farm Gas and Walters factories and there was a great deal of training and funding for businesses. Local communities were funded to carry out projects such as wildlife ponds, willow mazes, and it also supplied a number of village halls with the equipment they needed to best serve their communities.
The flagship of the project was housed in the old Walters Trouser Factory in Bishops Castle, now called Enterprise House. This has grown and flourished over the years, due to the small, but dedicated and multi-talented team who manage all the work the ESWS is now engaged in.
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