We’re very pleased that a more certain future for Bramley’s Community Centre looks to be on the cards with the decision of Leeds City Council to pass management of the building to Bramley Elderly Action. We will manage it as a resource for the whole community to use.
The decision, made by the council’s Executive Board on February 8th, paves the way for BEA to encourage residents to use the resource more often for activities, social events and community celebrations for young and older. We will also move our staff to the building on Waterloo Lane.
As well as being used by BEA members for regular tea dances, exercise groups, tai chi and a craft group, the Centre also already hosts a number of community groups, including Bramley Historical Society and Bramley Luncheon Club. We are extremely keen for those groups to continue using the Centre and for others to use it too.
Our initiative has the full support of the three Bramley & Stanningley Councillors: Caroline Gruen, Julie Heselwood and Kevin Ritchie, while our own voluntary Trustees have worked hard over a long period of time to make it happen.
Stuart Quin, Chair of Bramley Elderly Action, said:
‘We’re delighted at the decision, which has massive support from our members, volunteers and the local community. Our members remember the Community Centre in its prime – a place that connected people, and created opportunities for young and old. There’s a lot of work ahead to restore the fortunes of this underused community resource but we’re really looking forward to working with others and being part of a bright new chapter at the Community Centre. ’
Visitors to an open day BEA held at the Centre in October 2016 showed overwhelming support for the change. They were invited to look at archive photos from Bramley History Society of how Bramley Community Centre was used in its heyday and suggest new ideas for its future.
In 2014, in another ‘asset transfer’ from Leeds City Council, we took on the management of Bramley Lawn (formerly Bramley Lawn Day Centre) which we have transformed into a vibrant community social centre. While we intend to move staff from our current office on Stanningley Road to Bramley Community Centre, we will continue to run activities for the whole community from Bramley Lawn. Together, the two centres will give much easier access for local older people to BEA staff and activities. BEA will continue to run activities and services for older people across the Bramley, Swinnow and Stanningley areas.
The Council Executive Board’s decision invites BEA to take on a 25 year lease with a peppercorn rent. The Council will carry out essential repair work identified in a recent condition survey before the lease begins. It is hoped that we will take possession of the Centre later this year.
We would love to hear from local companies and individuals who may be prepared to pledge time or resources to help refurbish Bramley Community Centre later this year. This may involve painting, decorating, electrics, plumbing, plastering, gardening or other practical skills. Get in touch!