Work on £1.8m community centre nears completion
18 August 2020
The efforts of a community to create a new centre where they can meet together have been celebrated with the creation of a specially-commissioned illustration.
After more than a year, work on the £1.8m Grange Pavilion is close to being finished. Cardiff University engagement projects Community Gateway and Creative Cardiff enlisted the talents of local artist Jack Skivens to capture the story of how it happened.
Although the opening of the building has been delayed to the current restrictions, there are plans for the artwork to be hung prominently in the building in time for when it starts welcoming visitors.
Eight years ago, residents’ group Grange Pavilion Project had the idea of using the bowls pavilion in Grangetown as a base for community action and a place to get a really good cup of coffee.
Partnering with Cardiff University’s Community Gateway project and volunteer group Grangetown Community Action, Grange Pavilion Project took on the old bowls pavilion under a two-year temporary licence from Cardiff Council.
Consultation with residents led to the idea of a permanent community centre with spaces for hire, a community-focused café and green outdoor space with a community garden. The partnership started fundraising for a new building in 2016 and, in 2019, following a £1m donation from the National Lottery Community Fund and £250,000 donation from the Welsh Government Community Facilities Programme, redevelopment of the site got underway.
Building and development of the new look Grange Pavilion was impacted by lockdown but later this summer, transformation of the old bowls pavilion into a community centre for Grangetown residents will be complete.
Illustrator Jack Skivens who has worked on the Save Womanby Street and Gwdihw campaign, as well as for Spillers Records and WWF, was keen that the story of Grange Pavilion was told through the eyes of those who were there from the beginning. He started with interviews and research to get a feel of the project, the journey and the people involved.
Jack said: “It has been a pleasure to work on the Grange Pavilion project. The passion and dedication of the community involved in the journey has been so inspiring. I have worked on this project during lockdown so it has been an interesting contrast to be exploring these spaces at a time when we are unable to enjoy them."
Creative Cardiff, a network which connects people working in Cardiff’s creative sector, has partnered with Community Gateway in 2020, based on a common goal of undertaking creative activity to bring people together and strive for positive change by combining university expertise and resource with community action.
Community Gateway Project Manager, Lynne Thomas, said: “Community Gateway was delighted to have been chosen as Creative Cardiff’s 2020 partner and is thrilled to have benefitted from a creative commission telling the story of Grange Pavilion, a true tale of partnership work delivering on a grand scale. The whole partnership loves Jack’s storyboard and can’t wait to see it hanging in pride of place in the new building.
“Grange Pavilion has inspired, facilitated and hosted creative expression throughout the pilot phase and even during construction, with local artists and residents participating in spray art and portraiture projects, the results of which decorated the hoarding around the construction site. We look forward to many more creative activities at Grange Pavilion and welcome creative partnerships.”
Creative Cardiff Project Manager, Vicki Sutton, said: “This project embodies the shared aims of collaboration and storytelling which are key to both Creative Cardiff and Community Gateway. Working in partnership with Lynne and Jack on this project has been such a lovely creative process to be part of. Our hope is that the story poster depicts the important moments in the journey of the Pavilion’s redevelopment and reflects the people and stories at the heart of the community.”
You can read more about the Community Gateway and the Grange Pavilion Project here: https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/community-gateway/our-projects/community-meeting-places/grange-gardens-bowls-pavilion