Moss Side Community Centre to get new lease of life
South Ribble's Cabinet has approved a proposal of continued management and investment into the centre which will see a raft of new improvements which will provide effective management of the centre and will improve its overall sustainability.
New measures at the centre will include:
- Improvements made to external lighting around the centre and consideration given to advanced CCTV
- WiFi and broadband connectivity installed
- New South Ribble Borough Council signage
- New noticeboards with timetables of usage and availability along with contacts details available for community booking
The centre is in the council's ownership, but day to day operations have historically been managed by a voluntary committee. In January 2021, the council took over management of the centre on an interim basis and this decision confirms the continuation of this management agreement.
In March a task group was set up from the Leyland and Farington Community Hub to consider the centre's effectiveness, accessibility and public perception and to draw up proposals for its future use.
A survey was conducted with residents to understand the centre's usage to gauge views on what concerns people have about the centre and how the centre can be improved moving forward.
Councillor Aniela Bylinski Gelder, Chair of the task group and Cabinet Member for Communities, Social Justice and Wealth Building has spearheaded the community hub development across South Ribble and presented the report to Cabinet.
She said, "Historically Moss Side Community Centre has been underused, has had issues with anti-social behaviour and has had complaints of poor lighting leading to people avoiding the immediate area and users withdrawing from the centre.
"We know how vital community centres are and when run well, how important they are in developing and supporting strong local communities.
"The results of our survey showed that over half of residents do not use the centre with nearly 40% not knowing what goes on at the centre - and this is really disheartening to see.
"We want Moss Side Community Centre to be a thriving hub for the local community, for people to attend, feel safe and to enjoy the activities on offer.
"We're grateful for all those who responded to the survey and for being so honest in letting us know their concerns. We hope that all of the measures we are now putting in place with increased investment and management will bring our residents back to the centre."
Councillor Paul Foster, Leader of South Ribble Borough Council said, "I'm so pleased that Moss Side Community centre is finally getting the management and investment it needs to thrive. This is on top of an already exciting programme to invest in the neighbouring Moss Side play area.
"Despite the challenges of the last 18 months, we have been able to completely revolutionise the way we engage with our communities, listen to their needs and take action and this is just one project of investment intended out of many right across the borough.
"We've always said that we are on the side of our residents and we are willing to invest and work with our communities to create areas and spaces which are safe and can be used and enjoyed by all."
Councillors Jane Bell, Mary Green and Colin Sharples sat on the task group for this project.
Leyland and Farington Community Hub is one of five set up for each area of the borough.
Each hub has their own activities, groups and community assets as well as a dedicated Community Development Officer.