New Improvements Proposed for Annie Lees Park

Social Activist and Businessman Muhammad Usman has put together a team to renovate Annie Lees Park and utilise its large space.

Having recently moved to Levenshulme from Pakistan, this is Muhammad’s first project in the area as he hopes to blend his business expertise with social activism to make change around the community.

‘In Pakistan there is not a strong system to support local endeavours,’ explains Muhammad. ‘In this country, I do realise that if we have our power, if we have our strong voice, then definitely the council is going to listen to us’

The proposed improvements include making a jogging track around the park, building an open gym, building new slides, as well as growing new plants. “We have that big area of the park, we can renovate that area,” says Muhammad, highlighting the potential of the space

Muhammad explains: ‘there are a lot of fitness freak people around. Including me.’

‘We want some new slides there, because myself and my wife we take our children to that park – its the summer season so we want some new plants too.’

‘Everyone wants to go to a nearby park. There are 2 to 3 different parks in the area which all have facilities, but unfortunately in this park they don’t even have any facility. There is only a small kids section which must be 12-15 metres. That’s it. Nothing else’

A petition has been submitted to the council already as Muhammad continues to rally support from local residents

Muhammad’s experience with grassroots projects in Pakistan fuels his confidence in this new endeavour, and the new environment and system has inspired new strategies for change. ‘I planted myself 6,000 plants in my country, however there was not any support from any political party. We did that project by ourselves, and by donations.’

‘The council management is so much better than the management of Pakistan.’

‘There is a system, but they don’t follow that system. There’s not anyone working on that consultation.’

‘But here, if we sent many official emails to the council, if they don’t respond, we can take action against them,’ which assured Muhammad a freedom to create here and make change in the community.

‘But for those people who live most of the time in third world countries, they really want freedom. But unfortunately system didn’t give them freedom’

‘I do realise that – man – this is a place where a person can enjoy his life. Where a person can – if you want to do anything – you can do’

‘You don’t need to think about whether that same system is going to support me, or whether its not going to support me.’

‘My project is not for myself, it’s for the community’

Muhammad’s initiative stands as a testament to the potential for positive change through community engagement and strategic planning. The proposed improvements of Annie Lees Park aims to provide valuable facilities to local residents, promoting fitness, family activities, and social cohesion.