•	Lynne Gannon, Community Liaison Officer at Graham Balfour School (back row, left) and Karen Armitage, SARH Chief Executive, with completion winners (front row, left to right) Ella Daniel, Lucy Spencer and Josh Bayley.


Youngsters from a Stafford school have been digging into the town’s history to come up with a name for a £4.4 million housing scheme.

The Foregate Street development will provide 45 one and two bedroom apartments to meet local housing needs and will be known as Horton Village thanks to Year 6 pupils at nearby Graham Balfour School.

The housing association behind the scheme, Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH), wanted to involve the local community in finding a name for the new building and invited the school to run a competition to find the most suitable name. To launch the competition, SARH ran a workshop at the school so pupils could find out about the scheme and what was expected from their submissions.

Competition winners – 12-year-olds Lucy Spencer and Josh Bayley, together with runner-up Ella Daniel – were invited to SARH’s offices to meet with the organisation’s Chief Executive and to look at a mock up of the nameplate that will eventually be unveiled at the front of the four-storey building.

Karen Armitage, SARH Chief Executive, explained: “The name was chosen from two winning entries, Foregate Village and Horton Court. To avoid confusion with a separate development nearby we settled on an amalgamation of the two.”

The Horton part of the name was chosen in recognition of the founder of the shoe industry in Stafford, William Horton, who was also elected Town Mayor in 1804. Village was chosen because it reflects the community spirit of the scheme.

Lynne Gannon, Community Liaison Officer at Graham Balfour School, commented: “The children spent some time researching the history of the area before coming up with names and they uncovered some fascinating stories.

“They were delighted to be involved in a project that will provide homes for lots of local people for many years to come. When they grow up they can tell their own children they helped name such an important building in the town.”

Scheduled for completion early next year by SARH’s construction partner, Kier, Horton Village will contain 18 one bedroom and 27 two bedroom apartments close to the town centre. As well as meeting local housing needs, the project is also helping to regenerate an area of overgrown wasteland.

Karen added: “The scheme will provide a real housing boost for future generations who want to live in the town and so it’s really appropriate that a local school should come up with a name for this impressive development. Both the competition and the workshop demonstrated our commitment to working with the local community.”

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