Wiltshire Publications

Community centre’s plan to create social hub on waste land

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LEIGH Park Community Centre is hoping to develop the waste land at the side of the centre into a community café, play park and youth hub. 

The trustees of the charity are hoping this non-profit business will be run by the community, for the community, and be a place for families to meet and a safe place for children to play. 

They say it’s ‘the biggest project Leigh Park Community Centre has seen since the project to build the centre itself.’

The new addition to the centre could house a café, an 80s’ style games arcade, also with the latest consoles and games, a play park and further space for activities, such as dodgeball. There could also be commercial spaces that can be used as office spaces, small local businesses, or a permanent retail unit. 

The plans have already gained the seal of approval from residents online, with people saying it’s a fantastic idea and something that is desperately needed in the town. 

Dave Anderson, chair of the Leigh Park Community Centre said, “The project is still in the very early stages, and nothing has been set in stone. We still need to finalise our goals and plans as trustees. 

“However, at this stage, if any members of the community would like to be more involved in the project, we are open to people joining our trustee board to become part of the team, to come up and agree a final plan of our intentions. 

“At a later stage, when we take our plans to the council, we will also need a show of support for the project from members of the community.

“My personal views and goals for this project is to rewrite the book on ‘how to bring true community spirit’. You hear so many people say it just doesn’t happen these days. The real change doesn’t come from the government or councils; it starts at community level, people taking responsibility for its own community maintenance and services. 

“I hope this project will bring people together to invest in its community by using the various skills, experiences and knowledge within the town to create a charitable business. This can then create profits that benefit the community. 

“I believe by creating a social community hub, with facilities people actually want to use, will help bring people together and make the community a more self-sufficient, sociable community. This in turn, I believe,  will contribute towards making the area we live in a much happier place, helping reduce stress and mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

“The central community social hub would also provide local jobs and provide work experience for people who may find it hard to get work too.

“I would like the project to play its part in environment and climate change issues, which is why I would like to see the facilities created using local businesses and using local sustainable materials. 

“Ultimately I would also like to see the centre become energy self-sufficient using renewable sources where it can, and whatever profits made from excess energy sold to the grid and put back into the community.

“It may sound cheesy, daunting, too optimistic,  maybe even to some sound unachievable, but all big changes start with a dream… and dreams need big ideas and lots of support to turn that dream of real change into a reality. Who knows, this project and all who’s involved could end up being pioneers in real social and community change needed around the country.”