Coalbrookdale & Ironbridge, “the birthplace of industry”, is a World Heritage site but also a community of about 3,500 people located within Shropshire’s largest town of Telford. It is a semi-rural area in steep valleys with poor public transport links. There are few community facilities for local people. The Community Centre, based in a Victorian listed building, was established in 1998, and is a vital resource for all residents but particularly for the young and elderly who tend to find it harder to access facilities further away.
Regular users include the Cubs, Beavers, Scouts, Explorers, & Rangers, Play Groups and Gardening Club and classes for Tae Kwon Do,Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi & Belly Dancing. It is also used for craft fairs, meetings, presentations and private parties. It is available for letting for both public and private use at reasonable rates, and has the advantage of lots of free parking.
The Centre is run by a voluntary committee. Booking fees and an annual grant from the Parish Council cover day to day costs, such as heating and cleaning, but maintenance and improvements are paid for by fundraising. In recent years we have held a barbecue and a Race Night annually. These, together with grants from SITA and the Cooperative Community Fund enabled us to fund new central heating, new gates and fire prevention works.
In 2013 the main hall had a major renovation with a new oak floor and new ceiling with soundproofing funded by grants from Biffa Environmental Trust and the Gorge Parish Council and by our own fundraising.
In 2015 more successful grant applications brought funds from Veolia Environmental Trust, the Gorge Parish Council and Ironbridge Lions, enabling us to improve the rest of the building. This was topped up from the Community Centre’s reserves. Between November 2015 and February 2016 the ground floor of the Centre was closed. We now have a refurbished kitchen/bar area and a separate meeting room, all with new flooring and wheelchair access. The outside has been painted too.
A Community Centre to be proud of!