Bath Place Community Venture logo and name

Project Vision

The Vision

Project Detail

The project idea focuses on the site of All Saints School on Bath Place. This project will see a purpose built, rebuild used as a creative and social space aiming to improve health and well being in this deprived area of Leamington. It will give the space to allow individuals to express themselves and gain confidence and empowerment and will give the community a visible presence, spirit and voice to affect social change.

The project would see a range of services and providers located under the same roof – allowing the provision of joined up services and opportunities for the benefit of local people. Services will be both preventative and supportive. The physical nature of the building used to lend itself to creativity and comfort for vulnerable members of the community. It also could allow for office space and general hire space for the generation of long-term income.

Bath Place has a 38 year history of delivering services and projects within the local community. Its long track record of delivering effective, innovative projects continues to this day and the inclusive nature of its work is demonstrated by the diversity of groups supported.

In the long term the project will strengthen the voluntary and community sector by encompassing building ownership/long term rent; income generation and sustainable funding and partnership working.

Acquisition of the former site of All Saints would give BPCV a sustainable basis for developing into the future and continuing with it’s long tradition of supporting and serving the community. BPCV has managed to survive and deliver a range of community programmes for 38 years. It is a classic ‘big society’ project generating, and relying on, extensive volunteer effort. The proposed project would stabilize BPCV operations and allow it to grow in an economically sustainable way whilst also extending its contribution to local economic and social development.

Bath Place was also the lead community organisation in the successful bid for the Mary Portas Pilots, which has delivered £100,000 towards the regeneration of Old Town Leamington. A rebuilt, fully functioning Community Centre at the heart of Old Town would go a long way towards helping to deliver those objectives.

The Proposal

BPCV proposes to acquire the freehold of All Saints site it’s former home of 35 years and build a bespoke Community Centre with sustainability at its core. We are currently looking into the design/build of a well lit and accessible facility using bricks and mortar, wood and glass with sustainable and environmentally sound technologies such as a passive building.

The rebuild would make use of and tie in with the existing structures to provide as much naturally lit and workable space as possible. We will apply our experience with both the limitations of the old building and the extra capacity of the Old Library in creating a building that is as useful to many as it is welcoming to all. Architectural firm Sjolander Da Cruz has agreed in principle to conduct a full feasibility study to design an efficient, sustainable and economically viable building that will allow us to meet our aims and objectives. Sjolander Da Cruz have an extraordinary portfolio of community and educational buildings and have previously worked with Warwickshire County Council and other community organisations on various projects. We will also be working closely with the planning department to ensure that all their requirements are met, such as historical sensitivity, conservation and neighbourhood plans. The end walls still partially exist and it is possible that they could also be incorporated into the design

The rough footprint of the site is approximately 20 metres x 30 metres (600 metres sq.), which would enable us to re-create and incorporate the best aspects of both buildings. Ideally we would like to make full use of the site and will do our utmost to create as much community space as possible including a large hall, 3-4 meeting rooms, IT suite, a Cafe and a creative studio. Before the fire the building consisted mostly of one floor divided into different spaces which proved problematic for egress and flow throughout but with the use of two floors in sections the area could be maximized greatly whilst also allowing for a high ceiling, spacious and inviting hall for large groups, events and conferences.

The All Saints site is ideally located for this project and consists of 3 original remaining buildings: the recently refurbished BPCV nursery, a cottage which is home to The Afro Caribbean Project (ACP) and a multi purpose classroom and a bell tower with 2 small offices, that all managed to survive the fire. In the middle of these 3 remaining buildings is a severely derelict open space of approximately 600 metres square formerly the BPCV reception, community café, main office, main hall, community room, family room and IT suite and toilets to the back of the building. We propose to rebuild on this middle open space restoring the original facilities and creating additional ones to create a sustainable, eco friendly, and innovative building, paying respect to the original features of All Saints School, and amalgamating a 150 year old building with the modern age maintaining it’s character and giving back its original purpose (see our aims and objects).

Purchase of the land

Ideally we would acquire a long lease on the property with a peppercorn rent or a full ownership with BPCV taking possession under the auspices of a Community Asset Transfer. At its simplest level, Community Asset Transfer is a change in management and / or ownership of land or buildings, from public bodies (most commonly local authorities) to communities (community and voluntary sector groups, community enterprises, social enterprises, etc).

The spectrum of transfer options can vary widely, but communities typically take on the ownership or management of a community asset on either a freehold, long lease, shorter lease or a licence to occupy basis. However, for most transfers, where grants or loans are required to develop the asset, the length of tenure will need to be long enough to secure external investment. Therefore, Community Asset Transfer is usually taken to mean either a long lease of at least 25 years or a freehold. Bath Place has a long history of using asset-based development to achieve long term social, economic, and environmental improvements to the local area. In recent times, community ownership and management of land and buildings has been given fresh momentum as a result of influential reports and Government policy.