Stocksbridge District - some background facts about the district
A very brief history of Stocksbridge
Before the steel works was built in the valley bottom this was a farming area with small clusters of housing. The first recognisable settlement dates back to the 18th Century when John Stocks, who was living on the site in 1716, built a bridge across the river for his cattle to graze the land on the other side.
A few factories making wire and tin began work in the area in the 1840s and in 1851 Samuel Fox, from Bradwell in Derbyshire, founded the Stocksbridge Steel Works. With the coming of these industries a small town to house the workers gradually grew up adjacent to the steelworks. A high proportion of this early housing was either owned by the Steel Mills or by the local authority. Sheffield City built a large estate of council housing in t he post war period to provide better quality housing for the workers. It was only from the middle of the 20th century that an increasing proportion of private houses were built.
In the 1970s, out of a population of 14,000, most families had a connection with the steelworks. This link has gradually diminished as the steel manufacturing industry in Sheffield was reorganised although even in the 1990s many families still had members working in the local factory. As the manufacturing processes have changed the proportion of local people working in steel has diminished and an increasing number of local people commute to work.
A series of maps shows the growth of Stocksbridge
As a result of all the changes in the Steel Industry Stocksbridge has had its share of social and economic problems and to compensate for this has benefited from over £2m of regeneration money for local improvement schemes for governmental and EU sources.
Environmental information about Stocksbridge District
The following information has been brought together from a variety of sources:
The topography of Stocksbridge
Local landscape character
Historical development of Stocksbridge
The local natural environment
Map of all green space within Stocksbridge - the situation at the end of the 20th century.
The Stocksbridge greenspace map includes domestic gardens as well as the green spaces surveyed by SVP, the playing fields, the agricultural land and the woodlands. It was prepared to highlight the extent of the problem for a district which has so much green space to maintain.
It is a sketch map only as manpower resources were not available to do the research in more detail. It does, however, give a good indication of the extent of Stocksbridge's green spaces.
Population of Stocksbridge - 13318 in the 2001 census
Source: UK Census 2001 seethe Census website for full details of the characteristics of the local population
STEP (Stocksbridge Training and Enterprise Partnership) is a community-led organisation seeking to promote social and economic regeneration in the locality through the creation of training, employment and enterprise opportunities. It was formed in 1997. STEP is a charitable company limited by guarantee and a well established development trust. In pursuit of its aims and objectives STEP works collaboratively alongside those agencies which share a mutual agenda in seeking to revive the local economy.
Information about the work of STEP and its many initiatives - training, community, childcare, advice can be found on STEP's website. It runs the following programmes for the community:
• Community Education and Outreach actions
• ICT training and consultancy
• Information and guidance services for local people
• A Job service
• Childcare and early learning initiatives
• A Business centre and office accommodation
STEP has an annual turnover of over £1 million and is now a successful community business. It has a well established new business centre in the community and is intending that a second one comes on stream soon. It is also actively working with CORUS, the steel manufacturers, who own the very large steel works in the bottom of the valley to identify further opportunities.