New lease of life for run-down community centre in deprived Sheffield neighbourhood

Grimesthorpe Community Centre trustees: Left to right Sioned Mair-Richards, Penny Rea, Peter Price, Paul Norsworthy and June Luxon.
Grimesthorpe Community Centre trustees: Left to right Sioned Mair-Richards, Penny Rea, Peter Price, Paul Norsworthy and June Luxon.
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A run-down community building in a deprived part of Sheffield is to get a new lease of life.

A run-down community building in a deprived part of Sheffield is to get a new lease of life.

Trustees at the Grimesthorpe Family Centre on Wansfell Road have been granted a 25-year lease on the building by the Diocese of Sheffield.

The decision means the trustees can continue renovating the much-loved but dilapidated centre - and will also release a £39,500 grant from Veolia Environmental Trust for a refurbishment of its roof.

Councillor Peter Price, who represents Shiregreen and Brightside on Sheffield Council, said: “There is a lot of work to do but hopefully now we have got the lease we can get on with it.

“As well as the roof, we need to do the windows and the toilets. It is a very long term job but we have made a good start.”

“The Grimesthorpe Family Centre is a great community venture which can unite the people of the area. This is an opportunity to get it up to an acceptable standard.”

The building - which was once a church - has been used to house a youth club for the last 20 years, and now holds separate sessions for the area’s large Roma community as well.

However, despite being well used by local people, the building itself has been allowed to deteriorate over decades to it current shabby condition.

Peter and the other trustees paid tribute to the role of Philip Ireson, the recently retired vicar of Christ Church in Pitsmoor, who they said had been ‘invaluable’ in negotiating the contract with St Margaret's Church, who own the building.

Trustee, Penny Rea, said: “I think it is brilliant that new trustees have come forward to work with June Luxon who, with her daughter Jayne and husband Tony, have kept the Rendezvous Youth Club going at the centre for many years.

“With additional help from Philip and Sheffield Council development officer Colin Havard, the trustees have been able to make good progress finding volunteer help and financial support and we are hopeful that the building will gradually be upgraded and brought back into full use.”

Without having a long term lease, grant-funding organisations were loathe to release funds to the trust.

However, now the agreement is in place, Councillor Price said it allows them to spend the Veolia grant they have, and also opens up doors for them to access further funding.