Plans to re-open the Barrington Street Community Centre
October 2018: An update on the work of St. Cross and other local agencies to re-open Barrington Street Community Centre for our local community:
Ardwick Deanery has some of the most deprived areas of the country within its boundaries and this is partly why Manchester Diocese have created the role of Ardwick Deanery Mission Enabler, a post currently held by the Rector of St Cross Church, Chris Moore. The purpose of the role is to build on current relationships between Churches and Social Action and to establish small initiatives of Social Action within schools, churches and community centres across the deanery of Ardwick.
As part of local Government cost savings, residents of Clayton will know that Barrington Street Community Centre was closed five years ago. For the Centre to be reopened, the council need to pass the ownership of the building to a community interest group. This process is called an 'asset-transfer'. An asset transfer will allow Barrington Street Community Centre to become once again a centre that is locally managed and controlled and used to meet local need.
In his role of Ardwick Mission Enabler and Rector of St Cross Church, Fr Chris, together with members of St Cross Church, St Willibrord’s Church, North Road Methodist Church, Healthy Me Healthy Communities and One Manchester have come together to form a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) in a bid to claim the lease to Barrington Street Community Centre from Manchester County Council. The CIO are keen to see the building reopen and its potential maximized in serving the local community by providing a Community Grocer, training, volunteering and employment opportunities along with access to services such as debt, housing, health and employment support in addition to providing a safe space for recreation, arts and culture, education, healthy living and well-being, heritage, events, worship, conferences and private functions. The reopening of Barrington Street Community Centre forms an intrinsic part of the St. Cross Mission Action Plan and its ambition to become an inclusive and ecumenically-minded church with an outward-looking 'whole life focus'.
We are delighted that the council are excited by our initial proposal and we have now been given the go-ahead to carry out a community consultation exercise which we are proposing to do in three phases. They are:
Consulting with a number of key local organisations via a simple survey.
Consulting with residents living in the community via an online questionnaire.
Pulling together statistical data which give insight into the local need.
Under the management of the CIO the Community Centre would be funded through a mix of statutory and housing association investment (i.e. Manchester City Council, NHS Trusts, One Manchester); grant income; crowdfunding and earned income from room-hire and activities. The funding mix will reflect the community benefits delivered from the Centre and be detailed in a funding strategy and business plan currently being developed with partners as part of the asset transfer process.
Although we are still at a relatively early stage of the ‘asset-transfer’ process, we would welcome any comments about what you feel is needed from your local community centre and/or any information about any agencies with which we could partner to ensure our objectives are met.