Residents are celebrating the official opening of the Big Venture Centre on the Scotlands Estate following a major refurbishment project.

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They have breathed new life into what was the Scotlands Adventure Playground centre on Chesterton Road, after City of Wolverhampton Council completed a community asset transfer to 'Big Venture Ltd' in October.

The community group, as part of the Scotlands and Bushbury Hill Big Local Partnership, was handed a 25 year lease for the former local authority run outdoor play area and community centre.

Big Venture Ltd has spent around £180,000 improving the centre's facilities and maximising its potential for bringing much needed services into the area, while creating a thriving and sustainable social enterprise.

The Partnership is registered as a charitable organisation, and it is anticipated the centre will be self sustaining within 2 years of Big Local investment.

City of Wolverhampton Council's Head of Assets, Julia Nock, was invited to officially open the centre on Friday.

Cabinet Member for City Environment and Fallings Park ward councillor, Cllr Steve Evans, said: "We have worked closely with the Scotlands and Bushbury Hill Big Local Partnership to find a way to bring this centre back into use.

"They have done a tremendous job in refurbishing the centre and it is a real asset to the Scotlands Estate.

"The business case it has established means the long term future of the venue is secure and will serve the local community to the full.

"I look forward to seeing the centre become a hive of activity over the coming years."

Activities that will be delivered at the centre include into work support (employment project, Food for Thought mental health project, job search facilities), enterprise and self-employment support (Access to Business workshops and drop in surgeries and the Learning Platform for facing redundancies), training (food hygiene, first aid, nail and beauty, basic computer skills and childcare), lifestyle classes (keep fit, Zumba, slimming world, yoga, grow, cook and learn), and social classes (social isolation targeting older members of the community).

It also provides multi functional outdoor space and a community café that is open 6 days a week, while the community hall will be hired out to groups and organisations for events, meetings, conferences, and special occasions.

Part of the site has been sub let to a private childcare provider, Teeny Tots, in a new purpose built nursery.

Kim Payne from the Big Venture Ltd, added: "This centre means so much to the local community.

"Scotlands Adventure Playground was seen by many as the beating heart and the announcement of the closure left many devastated.

"Now we have transformed the site and the Big Venture Centre will be a place that's run by the community for the community offering endless recreational and training opportunities.

  • released: Monday 6 March, 2017