Bradford People’s City Centre Project – July 2014 update
On behalf of B.D.S.P. Committee and Trustees and in the position of Chair of this organisation it has fallen to me to do an article regarding the ending of the facilities provided at various venues. These have been at Picnic Parlour, Ginger Goose, Culture Fusion and lastly at Mechanics Library, Kirkgate. It has not been an easy decision to close the final venue at the end of June 2014.
Firstly Picnic Parlour accommodation was provided by Fabric who rented the space and offered it at a low cost. Ginger Goose was reasonably low in cost and catering and Culture Fusion was different.
This was taken on board with the thought that this could be a working partnership and benefit for intergeneration work.
Unfortunately Culture Fusion funding for this building did not letting another organisation have their own dedicated space there. This was not pointed out until later.
A programme had been put together and at the end we were offered accommodation at a high and unacceptable rent as tenants only.
I will explain, all of these venues and in particular Culture Fusion Project were to provide evidence that there was a need of a centre to help older people combat Isolation and loneliness. At the end of each accommodation, reports were done and presented to an Advisory Group. This was set up with help and interest from Council Managers, Health and Public Health Managers etc.
After Sarah Cartin whose role was Development Manager left, it was decided to employ an Activities Manager and this was Heather Blakey’s role. Her position and contract came to an end on the 30th of June 2014.
I do appreciate that people want to see Mechanic’s Library carry on with Volunteers but unfortunately this cannot happen. To close here has been a sad and difficult decision and we all sincerely thank the effort and dedication that volunteers have shown and also members of BDSP and other Users for showing this project is needed on the larger scale.
We had money donated and this should be used for the end outcome. This has to be our own building, looking at renting with a long term agreement with facilities that are needed and people interested in doing these. Our centre must be viable and cost effective and therefore we need a professional board of advisors and an influential project worker on board to carry the project forward. On a more positive side we are now moving forward to deciding on a property to rent as soon as possible. We now have the evidence, we now have the interest and support, all we ask people to do is think positive and be encouraging.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Chair, Jean Walker MBE