Community use of the Phillip Road centre
Since the centre was closed in July 2013, the groups that were based at Phillip Road have tried to maintain some sort of say in the future of the building. In September 2013 we persuaded Essex County Council to unlock the doors for a day in order to see whether there were any other local groups and individuals who might be interested in putting together a bid to buy the centre. The open day was attended by over 100 people and other publicity around the time attracted many more responses. However, the cost of the project looked beyond our means so when the Wivenhoe surgery expressed an interest in developing Phillip Road as a combined health and community centre, a plan for shared use looked like the best hope for the centre.
The surgery and their development partners Ashley House are now the major parties in the project and progress still depends upon their negotiations with Essex County Council and NHSE. But while we wait to hear further news, we need to move on with the business plan for the community hall based on a realistic assessment of who might be interested in using the space and what facilities potential users would need and/or like.
An appeal to WTC has brought together a few people who are prepared to develop the business plan but it would be really helpful to get new people involved and to hear views from across the community. Please send me a PM if you would like to know more or think you can help. You can also sign up to the mailing list at the philliproadcentre.org website or contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org