Regeneration appeal launched for Fleetville community centre

Fleetville coummunity centre

Fleetville coummunity centre - Credit: Archant

An ambitious building project has been launched at an ageing community centre in St Albans, with hopes to offer a facility boasting a higher standard to its many loyal users.

Fleetville Community Centre in Royal Road opened its doors to about 100 people recently, with visitors celebrating three significant birthdays.

It has been 102 years since city benefactor Charles Woollam donated the land which became the recreational grounds for Fleetville locals; 73 years since the centre itself arrived on one side of the local park for use as a children’s nursery during the Second World War, and 33 years since it took on a new lease of life as a community centre.

Cathy Budd, who chairs the board of trustees, said that it was time for the building to be replaced by a structure offering a higher standard of accommodation and more space.

It currently has two large halls and three smaller rooms, with a kitchen.

Cathy said while there were no building or funding plans in place as yet, there was a lot of work behind the scenes in terms of networking and seeking Lottery funding.

The centre is owned by St Albans district council and leased to the trustees with the lease due to expire in November 2016.

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Those at the gathering talked about their ideas for the new building while looking at an exhibition, ‘It All Began in 1913’ which offered guests the opportunity to discover more about the project.

Cathy said: “We are looking towards planning and getting the funds. We have also got to start applying for Lottery funding. We are just starting on that road, so we asked users to come and help us on our way.

“We have kept the centre going for years, but you can see the building is starting to disintegrate, so the trustees would like to grow and have better facilities.”

The exhibition will be on display again at the community centre on Sunday, June 28, to coincide with a Larks in the Parks event at Fleetville Rec.

Larks is a free enjoyable family and community festival, running from noon to 5pm.