In 2014, residents of Grangetown created a shared vision. They aspired to a friendlier Grangetown, with increased understanding between communities where everyone was united by a space for all.
A plan was formed: to redevelop the 1962 Grange Bowls Pavilion and green into a dynamic and multi-functional building and grounds. In the summer of 2017, using the feedback and ideas Grangetown residents have shared over the past five years, Community Gateway submitted the second stage of the Big Lottery Fund bid and applications to several other funders, to help realise the vision of a long term community-led facility.
Community Gateway and partners worked collaboratively with Dan Benham Architect, IBI group, and CDF Planning on the planning application proposing the complete renovation of the Pavilion and a one-storey addition at the east edge of the Bowls Green, creating a facility with a café, three bookable spaces, toilets accessible to park users, and community gardening plots around a green.
In February 2018 we were absolutely thrilled to learn that the second stage of The Big Lottery Fund bid was successful and the project has received £1,072,692 to rebuild Grange Pavilion in Grange Gardens.
The result of the build will be a multi-functional community facility that will provide opportunities for education, training, health promotion and enterprise development, with a café, office and meeting spaces. There are also plans to improve the existing grounds to create an accessible green space and an orchard and pollinator garden.
A community management board has now been formed and will take on a 99-year lease under a Community Asset Transfer, with handover support from the University.
How the Grange Pavilion will benefit Grangetown
Whilst things may be uncertain, the Grange Pavilion teams and Community Gateway will still be up and running online, aiming to provide support and activities for our community members as best as we can.
Grange Pavilion was started as a passion project led by the community for the community, and we want to take the time to highlight several reasons why the opening of the pavilion will be so beneficial:
- It will provide a neutral meeting place. Grangetown is wonderfully diverse, with residents from many different religious, political and cultural backgrounds. As a neutral and open space, the pavilion will be a place where everyone is welcome and is able to make connections and spark conversations. The community-focussed café, The Hideout, will not only serve the best coffee in town but will also host social events like the Culture Café, where people can gather and explore each other’s cultures and languages, the Repair Café, where people can bring their broken things to be fixed for free and will operate Coffee with a Conscience where people can buy a cuppa for someone in need.
- It will provide a space for community activities. We already have several bookings in place for when we can open, including yoga classes, careers week, art workshops and dance fitness, offering a range of activities to help improve health and wellbeing, education, employment (and enjoy of course!). Our hire rates are very reasonable, with a discount for charities and third sector organisations. For residents running activities for the community free of charge, there is no cost for the room, encouraging community action and local sustainability.
- It will provide a focal point and support for community events. Every year in Grangetown, events are held such as the Community Iftar and Grangetown Festival. The pavilion will support annual events organised by the community by providing rooms and amenities, tables and chairs, shade on hot days and shelter out of the rain. The Grangetown World Market and Grangetown Business Forum will have a permanent home at the pavilion, as will Career and Role Models’ week and Safety Week.
- It will provide a home for Grangetown organisations. The pavilion will be the official home of Grange Pavilion Project, the Grange Pavilion Youth Forum and Grangetown Community Action, providing opportunities for members of the community to better engage with local groups and encouraging more and more people to get involved in their community.
- It will provide a space to grow and play. The outside is as important as the inside at Grange Pavilion and the grounds have been designed to maximise green space, biodiversity and opportunities to grow edibles. There will be a green for play, exercise and social gatherings, five rainwater ponds adhering to the principles of the Greener Grangetown surface water drainage scheme, a wildflower meadow planted with the ten best plants for pollinators such as bees and butterflies, a raised-bed allotment to grow fruit and vegetables and an orchard of six fruit trees. Grangetown residents can come and enjoy our outdoor space as if it was their own garden.
We are so excited to open Grange Pavilion as soon as we can and look forward to seeing the community using the fantastic facility that it deserves.