Now is the time: Help shape the future of Lee Green Community Centre

Calling everyone who wants to help with plans for a new community centre in Lee Green.

Lee Green Lives runs the existing centre in Leegate, providing everything from computer and knitting classes to benefits advice sessions and a place for local group to meet. Its growth from unpromising beginnings in an empty unit has defied all expectations that an environment of a run-down shopping precinct might have engendered.

Now, we’re looking for help from anyone who would like to part of the plans of what a new centre might look like and what it might do once Leegate is redeveloped.

The call comes following the announcement that precinct owners St Modwen have been given the go-ahead for their scheme to create a retail and housing development at Leegate. Much still needs to be done before construction begins, but the estimated timescale is three years before the development is complete.

The next stage is negotiating the community benefits arising out of a Section 106 agreement, completion of which is likely in early autumn. Central to that agreement is a purpose-built community centre.

Lee Green Lives will be in talks with St Modwen and Clarion (formerly Affinity Sutton) to establish the terms of the lease and size of the centre. At the same time, we need to project what will be offered as part of the plan. Clarion are landlords of the nearby Leybridge and other estates in the ward, including Newstead. They support Lee Green Lives’ aim of providing a centre for local residents in addition to using it as a resource for their tenants.

Artist’s impression of new development frontage

So we need to look at the range of activities and services we might host, and the resources that might be needed to support them. We will consider how best and flexibly to accommodate meetings and maybe office space, and whether a café might feature in the plans… the possibilities are great.

To get there, we will be developing a business plan and design options as part of our vision for how best to meet the needs and aspirations of local residents. We hope some of you will join our current volunteers and trustees, but even if you haven’t got time to take on that much, we hope you will join us to plan and shape our future.

The centre is a key part of Lee Green Assembly’s plans, and has been a feature in the joint work of local community groups.

To find out more, contact Jim Mallory, chair of the committee (cllrjim.mallory@lewisham.gov.uk), or Shirley Kirkland, LGL coordinator (lgrnlives01@gmail.com).

 

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