PEOPLE power will decide how £1m of lottery lolly is spent in South Tyneside.
A new group has been formed to help spend a Big Local lottery grant on improvement schemes in central Jarrow.
But organisers stress that the ideas for boosting the town centre must come from residents.
Jarrow people are invited to an event in the town next month, where they can share their ideas on how to spend the lottery money.
The cash to enhance Jarrow town centre is part of a £200m national endowment from the Big Lottery Fund.
Local ideas on how to spend the community cash were first pooled at a fun day held at Jarrow Community Centre last year.
Once a partnership is up and running, £1m will be released through the Big Local scheme, to be spent in central Jarrow over a 10-year period.
An interim steering group has been created, under the chairmanship of the Rev Roy Merrin, minister of Grange Road Baptist Church, Jarrow, which already has strong community ties.
The group, which is open to any resident of central Jarrow or organisation serving the area, has appointed the Groundwork Trust in South Tyneside to act as its trusted organisation, through which initial funding has been received from Big Local nationally.
Mr Merrin said: “The interim steering group, advised by Linda Clark, the Big Local regional representative, has already been granted the sum of £20,000, to enable a development plan to be prepared, hopefully leading to the establishment of the partnership.
A part-time community worker is to be appointed in the near future, for a six-month period.
“Their remit will be to draw up a profile of the area, organise a series of community engagement events, undertake marketing of Big Local Central Jarrow and work towards the preparation of the proposed development plan.
“It is important to stress that Big Local Central Jarrow must be resident-driven, and that any projects submitted in the future by the partnership – which must have a majority of local residents in its membership – must be in accordance with the stated needs of the residents.”
People in central Jarrow are invited to the next meeting of the interim steering group, which will be held at Nolan Hall in Concorde Way, Jarrow, on Thursday, March 7, at 7pm.