A PROJECT has been set up to tackle community issues in a housing estate in Durham.

Sherburn Road Together has been set up by neighbourhood policing teams, Durham County Council’s neighbourhood wardens and Belmont county councillor Katie Corrigan to try and build new relationships in the community.

So far almost 50 residents have been involved in the project to talk about what things need to be done to address concerns on the estate.

Sergeant Kevin Hall, from Durham Police, said: “I have been working within neighbourhood policing for over a decade and I can honestly state that I have never know so much about the specific concerns and wishes of a community as I know now about Sherburn Road Estate.

“This is testimony to the open and meaningful engagement of residents and the mutual gain process.

“The project has enabled the team to gain valuable information in a short period of time which will be used to steer significant change and build trusting relationships between partner agencies and the community.”

From initial conversations, project leaders say they have identified a number of issues where help is need, including drugs support, culture, and community support and confidence.

Those involved in the project are still trying to get as many people involved as possible to try and make improvements to the estate, which has historically had issues with anti-social behaviour and crime.

Carole Coning, chairwoman of Gilesgate Residents Association, said: “Sherburn Road Together is supportive, informative and positive, we would like more residents to be part of the project to make a real change.”

Other organisations including Kings Church, Laurel Avenue Community Association, Durham City Housing Group, Wellbeing and housing providers have also been involved.

Karen Gardner, County Durham Housing Group Safer Neighbourhoods manager, said: “This initiative has given all of the organisations involved a great opportunity to really get to know residents in Sherburn Road; to talk about what they like about the area, and what they’d like to see improved.

“We’re looking forward to the project growing and helping to improve the community for everyone living in Sherburn Road.”

Neighbourhood warden Paul Rutherford said: “The Sherburn Road Together project has helped to break down barriers and connect not only the residents of the estate but also the agencies that can help to make a difference and improve the area for all.”