The Fact Find
Cliftonville Story – From top resort to last resort!
Cliftonville West was once a thriving & affluent holiday destination with a High St boasting Fortnum & Masons & Rolls Royce. But with the onset of package holidays, in common with many other coastal towns, a steady decline set in over 4 decades, resulting in an ever increasing transient, migrant and multi-cultural population. Property prices plummeted with disastrous consequences as large spacious Victorian homes & hotels were purchased by unscrupulous landlords and cheaply converted into houses of multiple occupation at low rents reflecting their dilapidation. Anti-social behaviour, crime, high unemployment & poor health soon followed.
Key Issues – Poor cultural integration, alienation, poverty & disconnection.
Struggles with transitory living and short-term housing occupancy quickly spiralled into a square mile area suffering poverty and becoming a ‘dumping ground’ for vulnerable people with no choice, manifesting in drug, alcohol, domestic abuse, gangs and trafficking.
Between them residents spoke forty-six different languages and were becoming increasingly disengaged with each other and local service providers. Even the free newspaper circulation ceased, cutting people off from a key source of local community information.
Mental & physical health declined to an all time low with Cliftonville’s average life expectancy thirteen years less than the county as a whole – the area desperately needed change.