The development of Marlborough Pavilion into a community centre for Sopwell
Provision of community activity space for residents of Sopwell
The development of Marlborough Pavilion into a community centre for Sopwell is a key project in the Council’s new Inclusion Strategy, the aim of which is to encourage an inclusive community where everyone has the opportunity to take part and contribute to community life. The need for a community centre was identified by the Local Strategic Partnership, a group of key local public, private, voluntary and community sector organisations working together to improve the quality of life for everyone in the District. Sopwell was identified as an area which was poorly provided with community facilities.
Marlborough Pavilion, situated on a large green space area off Old Oak, Cottonmill Lane, has fantastic views across a valley to the Cathedral. It currently provides only one meeting room, along with the changing rooms and showers which support the Onside football project, a dance class and art groups. Plans for the building include a phased approach to allow development to follow need and the availability of funding, Phase 1 providing a temporary weights room and additional storage, then through Phase 2 providing a multi-purpose room about 17m2 with a central partition, and additional storage to support usage. In due course, if the demand exists and funding is secured, there is the possibility through Phase 3 of creating a new community centre around the Phase 2 development which would replace the current pavilion building, provide more multi-purpose activity space and possibly a cafe. The intention is to move away from calling the building a pavilion and promote its wider usage by calling it Sopwell Community Centre.
So far three public consultation events have been held – one at the Pavilion itself on 29th March, a second at Sainsbury’s in Griffiths Way on 30th March and at a third at the Larks in the Parks event at Marlborough Pavilion held on Sunday 26th June 2011, with many residents and stakeholders expressing their views about what facilities they would like to see at the Pavilion.
Council officers are keen to emphasise that the plans are very much in the outline stage only at present and that no planning applications for Phases 2 and 3 have been submitted. In line with the aims of the Inclusion Strategy the purpose of the public consultation was to hear views from local residents at this early stage as to what they would like to see in a local community. The Council is keen to work with the community to develop a building that best meets the current and future needs of the community.
So far, ideas which have come forward for possible additional activities at the new Sopwell Community Centre include mother and toddler groups; exercise and dance classes such as line dancing, yoga, and pilates; sports such as tae kwondo; computer classes for the elderly; music lessons; art classes; weights training; a youth club; use by voluntary and community groups; Police community meetings and councillor surgeries.
Officers have confirmed that there is no intention to seek an alcohol licence for the premises and that they are determined to ensure that there is no increase in anti-social behaviour as a result of any development.
The ultimate intention is that this centre is one which is run by the community for the community, where everyone feels they have a stake in the success of the building. It needs to move on from being primarily a sports pavilion serving the young and be a building that everyone from all ages and backgrounds can use
Outline plans for the site can be viewed below, but it is important to note that they are simply ideas at this stage.
A planning application will be submitted to obtain temporary permission to erect three additional containers which, it is proposed, would enable the Weights Training group and the youth club to move from their current venue to the Pavilion and provide additional storage
Please visit the Marlborough Pavilion web page for more information about the facilities at the site.
Have your say. Please complete the Comments Form and email it to email@example.com or post it to Carl Cheevers at the Council offices.