In 1996 a group of local residents, led by local minister Rev Mounce campaigned to save the building on Redcatch Road which had formerly been a local authority day centre for elderly people. When the number of people attending the centre continued to fall the building was closed, and lay dormant for several years, falling into disrepair, until Bristol City Council decided to pull it down. People felt it could be a valuable asset to the community and campaigned to keep the building as a community centre.
The Redcatch Community Association was formed, a 10 year lease with Bristol City Council was negotiated, and volunteers cleared, cleaned, dug and painted until the building was able to be used. Several groups and a church community hired the building and the association were also proactive themselves in starting up the Redcatch Art Club and Redcatch Tea Dance and a drama group. The Art Club and the Tea Dance continue successfully to this day. These are now independent self supporting groups. Several events were held to raise funds for refurbishment including concerts and sales.
In time as the centre was refurbished and improved regular bookings filled the diary. It soon became evident that the original idea of a membership association was not needed by the community, but a high quality building as home for the number of interest groups in an area where people are involved in many activities. There are currently over 20 regular groups.
The centre is now run by a volunteer management committee of 8. We have a cleaner but no paid management or premises staff, and we rely on our hirers to open and close the building and keep it tidy and ready for the next user.
As more improvements have taken place, it has become so popular it is sustained simply from the income generated from its hire. No regular funding is received.
The latest work carried out is the redecoration of the interior following the installation of a new boiler, radiators and pipes and cavity wall insulation. A pull-down film screen and attractive (blackout) curtains were purchased throughout to complete the transformation. The next project was the complete refitting of the kitchen – installation of wifi – a bluetooth PA system and remote heating control.
All groups are invited to send representatives to attend our monthly meetings, and future plans and any problems can be discussed at the annual AGM and the annual Users Meeting. New people on the committee are always welcome!
Our mission statement
Our mission is to provide a local hall which is maintained to the highest standards; viable and sustainable and available for use by everyone in the community.
Our aim is for the centre to be a valuable asset to the community used according to the wishes and needs of local people and be a hub of activities for all ages, abilities and interests.