The Chase Community Centre, Nottingham
A large community centre built by local people

Nottingham Chase Community Centre is the largest such building that the Trust has been involved in to date. At 600sq. m. floor area, it is the equivalent of six 3-bedroom houses. It is situated in what was a very bleak local shopping centre in the St Annes area of Nottingham. The project arose out of a consultation exercise with the local community in 1992. Following this the management committee approached the Trust in 1994 and as a result, we worked with them to help them achieve their goal. The building is very impressive with a beautiful wave-shaped grass-covered roof, timber verandahs, and a covered walkway linking to the existing shops. Internally the building has everything a community centre could desire with a canteen, reception area, workshop training areas and a large hall. There are also offices both for the centre administration and for T.A.N.C (Technical Aid to Nottingham Communities) who organised the consultative design process.

The timber finishes give the building a warm feeling and avoid the cold, hard feel common to many municipal buildings. Whilst the building itself is very impressive, the process of getting it built was even more so. Rejecting a local authority produced plan for the area, local people came together saying that they wanted a community building for local use. They worked closely with TANC to overcome the many bureaucratic obstacles put in their way, and finally achieved approval for their proposals.

These included plans to involve local people in the building process itself. A scheme was set up whereby local unemployed people were offered high quality training and work on the project. Over the 18 month build period an average of 14 trainees a day worked on the building; with a total of 26 trainees taking part. Some of the work was subcontracted out such as electrics, plumbing, plastering and the installation of the roofing membrane.

The building has exceeded expectations both in meeting the community's needs, improving the shopping precinct and producing a high quality community centre. It is a credit to all those involved.

Architect: Carnell Green

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