New Community Hub

Plans and Public Consultation

Much has changed in the 40 years since we started (you can read our story here, if you haven't already), and it's fair to say that our current buildings were never designed for their present use: very much a case of "if I'd know we were coming here, we wouldn't have come this way".

 

Our current main building is now 30 years old, and it's showing its age. We're constrained by both size and layout, it's expensive to heat, and it just doesn't work as well as it could do. In the meantime, our community has flourished, evolving in both size and diversity - and that means there's a need for a modern, inclusive space that can accommodate our expanding population and provide a welcoming environment for all.

 

 

So, we're putting together the case to build something new, just on the side of the site, probably where the bike project is at the moment: a purpose-built Community Hub, low carbon throughout, different sizes of hall for hire, drop-in rooms for e.g. advice clinics, health screening, blood donation sessions, and so on. This new building will serve as a multifunctional centre, fostering social cohesion, promoting educational initiatives, and supporting various community activities. We can then hopefull refurbish and remodel the existing building to make better use of that space: a better home for the Pantry and bikes, a new upstairs area, “zoning” for different services, improved insulation, updated facilities. In effect, twice the indoor space, with much improved capacity and flexibility.

 

 

This is not an insignificant task, and it's going to be expensive - money we don't have. That means grant applications to the local authority, National Lottery, and local and national charities. The first step towards this is a community consultation, run in conjunction with Evesham Town Council, to see if we have support for this project, and to get inputs about what we need and how we could perhaps keep the community engaged throughout the process.

 

22 APRIL The initial consultation has now closed - genuine thanks to everybody who responded. We'll process what we've been told and will let you know as soon as we have something to share.

 

We're also well underway with architects and designs, and we'll publish those once we've finalised them (we still need more input from the people who work here, plus - of course! - we need to take into account anything the public survey has told us).

 

MAY So, some insights into the consultation results - 287 responses, mostly Four Pools to Bengeworth; 300 verbatim comments, balanced between current users of the Playground and people who don't come here at all; really strong support for the project (thank you!). It's clear that people really value what the Playground does today and can only see the need increasing in the future, with a lot of good suggestions as to other things we could be doing. We'll aim to put this together with some explanation, but here's a flavour of the responses in case we don't get round to that (there's a lot of work to do in the background...).
 

Genuine thanks to everyone who took the time to talk to us, fill in a form, give us some feedback, or volunteer. You're on our list to contact!

 

 

01 JUNE The application is in! Lots of work, trying to describe the needs (much from the consultation) and the benefits, plus the impact the Community Hub would have on e.g. Wychavon's strategic priorities. 

 

We'll find out in early to mid-July if we've been successful - but, time doesn't stay still, so we'll be launching other grant applications (e.g. National Lottery) in the meantime. Until then, here are another few concept images for you to dream on... (huge thanks to Gregor and Charlotte at Architects Dyer for the help on all this).

 

 

This remains a huge and expensive task. If there's anything you think you could do to help us, from helping to clear the site to perhaps making us an offer we can't refuse for materials, groundworks or construction, please, let us know through any of the contact methods below. We really want to bring this to life by the community, for the community.

 

 

Thank you very much in advance for your ongoing support!

 

 

We will use this page for updates as and when we have new news, so come back soon...