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.
Project history and redevelopment funding
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 Architects, 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.
Construction began in summer 2019 and was finished in summer 2020, having been delayed due to first lockdown when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. The build has resulted in a multi‑functional community facility in the heart of the most diverse ward in Wales, providing 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.
Grange Pavilion Charitable Incorporated Association (CIO)
The Grange Pavilion CIO includes representation from Cardiff University, RSPB, Cardiff and Vale College, Cardiff Bay Rotary Club and Taff Housing, ensuring long term commitment to sustainability of the organisation. At least 60% of the board must be Grangetown residents, according to their constitution.
Cardiff Council transferred ownership of Grange Pavilion to Cardiff University initially on a one-year licence back in 2016. Since then, the University has remained as Asset Guardian and will be supporting Community Asset Transfer of the 99-year lease to Grange Pavilion CIO by the end of the five-year funded period (2024).
How the Grange Pavilion will benefit Grangetown
The Grange Pavilion officially opened on 5th October 2020, however only for nine weeks before the second lockdown in December 2020. Grange Pavilion finally reopened on 2nd May 2021 and had an extremely successful year with the facility being used by many Grangetown residents, community groups and University groups.
It 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 is 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 and cakes in town, but also operate Coffee with a Consciencewhere people can buy a beverage or meal for someone in need. It will also host social events like the Culture Café, where people can gather and explore each other’s cultures and languages and the Repair Café, where people can bring their broken things to be fixed for free.
- It will provide a space for community activities.The Grange Pavilion has already taken many bookings such as yoga classes, language classes, art workshops and dance fitness, offering a range of activities to help improve health and wellbeing, education, employment (and enjoy of course!). The 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 to encourage 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 surrounding areas of the Grange Pavilion are as important as the inside with the grounds having been designed to maximise green space, encourage 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. The Gardening Group meet every Tuesday and Sunday morning and are always looking for volunteers to help with maintenance and seasonal growing in the community garden. Grangetown residents can come and enjoy our outdoor space as if it was their own garden.
We are so excited to see the Grangetown community using this fantastic facility throughout 2022. The annual Love Grangetown consultation will be held at the Grange Pavilion on Saturday 21st May 2022, which we will celebrate the launch of the new building. Please check the Grange Pavilion website for upcoming events and give their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages a follow for further updates!
Find out more about upcoming events, room bookings and news from the new Grange Pavilion