Pavilion project’s Lottery boost

28 February 2017

Grange Pavilion

One of Cardiff University’s five Flagship Engagement Projects, Community Gateway, has been successful in its bid for a £50,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund to develop ideas to renovate and extend the Grange Pavilion, an old bowls pavilion and green in the heart of Grangetown.

Big Lottery Fund Logo

Cardiff University’s Community Gateway has secured one of nine initial grants of up to £50,000 each to help projects develop their ideas before being invited to submit developed applications to the second stage of funding with the aim of securing grants of between £300,000 and £1,150,000. Read full project descriptions here.

Over the past three years, Community Gateway, which supports the development of research, teaching and volunteering opportunities in Grangetown, has worked with Grangetown residents’ groups Grange Pavilion Project and Grangetown Community Action to rejuvenate the old Grange Gardens Bowls Pavilion and transform it into a thriving venue for the whole community.

Future sustainability

Securing a temporary licence from Cardiff Council, Community Gateway and partners, supported by Rotary Club Cardiff Bay, Dan Benham Architects and IBI Group, Mott MacDonald, N&M Construction, IKEA and Cardiff and Vale College, made essential repairs to the building and launched Grange Pavilion as a community venue in June 2016 for a test period. Since then, the project has flourished and the building and green is in high demand.

The Grange Pavilion now hosts regular activities such as ESOL classes, homework clubs, a youth forum, a story and reading club, a local friends & neighbours group, peer-support meetings, a carers’ surgery, citizen scientist environmental crowdsensing meetings and a community gardening group. The old bowling green is transformed into a football training pitch every Wednesday evening and a bee-friendly pollinator garden planted on the edge of the green has been the inspiration for an art in practice project called Stiwdio, which has an exhibition in the main hall on the 3rd of March.

Central to the future sustainability of the Grange Pavilion is the development of a community-focussed café, which will launch this spring.  Run by local businessman Moseem Suleman of Grangetown dessert company Ice Cream Passion, the café will provide users of popular Grange Gardens with teas and coffees and a selection of snacks and will also offer training opportunities to local young people, helping them gain skills that could lead to further employment.

'A long and lasting celebration'

Richard Powell, Chair of residents’ group, Grange Pavilion Project said: “On behalf of GPP I'd like to thank all those who believed in, and have continued to believe in what set out as a plausible but uncertain ambition. They have shaped and transformed a simple idea into a distinctive and credible project of great potential and quality. Thanks goes to all those who believed that the community of Grangetown could not only conceive of, but also deliver such a project. Whether it is those in Cardiff University and the Communities Gateway team, who have worked so hard, or Cardiff City Council who have never yet said 'no', or The Rotary Club of Cardiff Bay, whose early support was so valuable, or in fact, the Big Lottery. All have played a substantial part in the idea's journey, and in today's success. Many have come to know that Grangetown has lots to offer, not least to discover that its a community of communities, and together it's they who hold the means and the keys to success.

“So, the biggest thanks has to go to all those Grangetown residents who came together, spent their precious time volunteering and offering invaluable encouragement and support. Now let others come and join in what will become a long and lasting celebration. Thanks all, and see you some time for coffee.”

Grange Gardens illustration

The Big Lottery Fund development grant will allow Cardiff University and community partners Grange Pavilion Project and Grangetown Community Action to develop architectural plans and achieve planning permission to fully renovate and extend the building and cultivate the outdoor space, creating a top-quality and fully accessible venue for the long-term use of the people of Grangetown. The second stage application will be submitted to the Big Lottery Fund in September.

Mhairi McVicar, Director of Engagement at Cardiff University said: “We're absolutely delighted that our Grangetown - Cardiff University partnership has been awarded this grant, which will enable us to get even closer in supporting Grangetown communities make their visions for Grange Pavilion a reality..."

"There's a long way to go, but we look forward to continuing our support of Grangetown Community Action and Grange Pavilion Project through our research, teaching and volunteering partnerships in Grangetown.”

Mhairi McVicar, Project Lead, Community Gateway

'Community ownership'

Ashley Lister, Chair of Grangetown Community Action said: "It is absolutely fantastic to hear that Stage One Big Lottery Funding has been awarded to the Grange Pavilion. Credit must be given to all those involved especially those from Cardiff University's Community Gateway, the Grange Pavilion Project, Grangetown Community Action and the wider communities. This opportunity makes community ownership of this evolving venue an increasing and exciting possibility.

“As Chair of Grangetown Community Action I am really looking forward to continuing to work with partners and the community in developing this project further. What makes this project special is the community drive behind it, whether it's for a community cafe, a meeting space or a vibrant community garden, Grange Pavilion is truly bringing communities together and I'd encourage residents to get in touch and get involved!"

The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK, it puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects. It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and every year it invests over £650 million and awards around 12,000 grants across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes. Since June 2004 it has awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.

John Rose, Wales Director of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “This programme is helping Welsh communities to become stronger and more sustainable by assisting them to obtain and develop assets and improve where they live. By helping to transfer assets to enterprising organisations that actively involve and benefit the communities they serve, we are ultimately helping more people to benefit from their local community assets and also generating local income and employment.”

The Community Gateway team, Cardiff University and community partners and residents look forward to collaborating on the next stage of the bid and developing and advancing ideas for the long-term future of the Grange Pavilion.

Community Gateway is one of Cardiff University’s five Flagship Engagement projects and is focused on creating pathways between Grangetown and the University. By brokering relationships between University staff and Grangetown residents, Community Gateway facilitates the development and delivery of projects and activities for the mutual benefit of all.

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Grange Bowls Pavilion

Find out what events are taking place at the pavilion, and learn how to hire this space for your own events.