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Fundraising appeal for £1.6m community centre

18 March 2019

Artist's impression of Grange Pavillion

A Cardiff community is appealing for support to realise its dream of creating a new £1.6m community centre for residents.

Much of the funding has been secured to build a fantastic new facility on the site of a former bowls pavilion in Grangetown.

But organisers remain £250,000 short of their target and are urgently appealing for donations.

The rebuilt Grange Pavilion will include three bookable spaces (including a large hall), meeting rooms, a café and an office. It will provide opportunities for education, training, health promotion and enterprise development.

Steve Austins, chair of Grange Pavilion, the community body steering the plans, said: “The support we’ve had so far has been overwhelming, including from the local community, but we just need that extra nudge to make these fantastic plans for a proper centre for the people of Grangetown a reality.”

The plans are the result of a successful partnership between residents’ groups Grange Pavilion Project and Grangetown Community Action, and Cardiff University’s Community Gateway project.

Mhairi McVicar, Community Gateway project lead, said: “We've achieved 80% of our funding goal but we need a big final push to reach our target.

“We’re really close to being able to meet everyone's ambitions to create a facility of lasting civic quality in the heart of a fantastic community, but we need more help to make it happen.”

Plans are for the new facility to open in early 2020 if the necessary funds can be secured.

The redevelopment to double the current size will provide valuable public amenities in a popular inner-city park.

Over the past few years, the community has worked hand in hand with Cardiff University to offer a wide range of activities at the old pavilion.

The work has brought together 3,000 residents, launching 150 community-led initiatives, with more than 1,000 activities and sessions on site.

Projects have included a youth forum, repair café, gardening club, sporting activities, homework club, reading sessions, friends and neighbours meetings, a mental health peer support group, a creative tech café and support for adult learners.

However a new building is desperately needed because the old one was in a very poor condition and too small for large group activities.

“Residents will be able to plan and run community activities for free, generate revenue through private hire for wider community benefit, tackle social isolation and increase wellbeing, as well as deliver a self-sustaining community asset, led by the community for the community,” added Mr Austins.

The lion’s share of the funds raised so far has come from the National Lottery Community Fund, which is providing £1m towards the project.

Other backers include Welsh Government Community Facilities Programme, Garfield Weston Foundation, Moondance Foundation, ASDA Foundation, HEFCW, IKEA and Cardiff Bay Rotary Club.

The Grange Pavilion CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) itself raised £2,000 in three months by organising fundraising quizzes, running events and a special concert organised by Grangetown Community Choir, which was matched by Lloyds Bank Foundation. The Grange Pavilion CIO also launched a Local Giving page where people can donate.

To donate through the online fundraising page, please go to

Run Grangetown is launching a fundraising campaign called Race to the Pavilion, aiming to run a mile a day from now until the launch of the new building, raising £1 for every mile they run:

Anyone wishing to donate to the appeal can also do so by contacting Lynne Thomas on 029 2087 0456.

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Grange Pavilion awarded £1m from The Big Lottery for renovation