David Watts writes: Local people are doing things for their local area. We all know that Bramcote Hills Park is a fantastic local public park but it would benefit greatly from having toilets and catering facilities. A group of us have therefore got together and we are delighted to announce the launch of the Bramcote Hills Park Community Cafe. This is a public interest company, which means that it doesn’t have shareholders and is owned by the community. We are looking to build a cafe, toilets and community room in the park, close to the children’s play area.
At the moment plans are still at an early stage but we want as many people as possible to be involved. The design of the building, the services offered, the contents of the menu, all of these are areas where the community will be able to have their say. Once the business is up and running any profits will be ploughed back in to the local community and we will want the community to decide on how this is done as well.
We have already spoken to the council about the plans and they are very keen to see the scheme go ahead. We will of course work very closely with them, but we are also working with other groups such as Pulp Friction and Rumbletums to see where we can support each other and provide facilities which would benefit them.
At the moment we are in the process of setting the company up. It will be a company limited by guarantee, which means that all of the members pledge that they will pay £1 towards the costs of the business if it fails. Once this is done we will be looking to start fundraising. The plan at the moment is that we will launch our fundraising efforts on 1st February 2016 and our website will go live about that time as well. Initially we will need to raise the costs of an architect and quantity surveyor, and then we will need to raise the costs of the building itself. We hope to do this and be ready to build by the end of 2016.
Our design brief for the building will include maximising renewable energy and using the most environmentally friendly construction and design methods to reduce the buildings running costs as much as possible and to also decrease the carbon footprint.
There are many ways that people will be able to help. We hope as many local residents as possible will choose to become members of the company so that we can show to any funders that it has a broad base of support. We will also need help developing a business plan and would welcome any expertise that people have in that regard. We also hope that as many organisations as possible will choose to partner with us. Again this will help when we talk to grant providers, and it is our aim to provide a building that caters for as many needs in the community as possible, so please tell us what your organisation would benefit from having.
This is a venture that has come about purely by local people saying that they want to see things change for the better in Broxtowe. It started when one person invited a few others to meet to talk about the idea. They told their friends and they told their friends, and so the vision was born. We think that it is a really exciting idea and we hope that others will join us in making it a reality.
Please contact David Watts for any further information on firstname.lastname@example.org.