It’s almost a year since Ruddington Parish Council (RPC) announced it had completed the purchase of the former Youth & Community Centre site on The Green from Nottinghamshire County Council for use by our whole village community in the future.
It has lain empty and disused since December 2016, with the main building having to be boarded up in 2018 (top) following repeated acts of vandalism. After lengthy negotiations, RPC Chairman Allen Wood finally received the keys from County Councillor Reg Adair eleven months’ ago amid great celebration and anticipation. He commented at the time: “This is a significant milestone and the most important decision taken by the Parish Council in several decades – which is fitting as we’ve just celebrated its 125th anniversary.”
Sadly the Coronavirus Pandemic then halted further progress with repurposing the deteriorating premises – including the promised public consultation on what should actually happen to them next.
Once Council meetings were given permission to resume online, Councillors agreed that, in the short term, the secure onsite car park could be used by village traders in order to free up visitor parking spaces in the village centre. RPC confirms that further gate keys have now been cut to distribute to certain businesses very soon. Not only that, the delayed public consultation has now got underway!
Parish Councillor Cheryl-Ann Perkins, says: “Our village is growing and changing at a rapid rate and we really feel it is important that the New Community Centre needs to be a true hub at the heart of the village to service all Ruddington residents in some shape or form. Therefore, to ensure we can move the development of this project at pace, we have formed a working party of nine Council members. The aim of this group is to provide recommendations to the Parish Council on what is needed by the residents of Ruddington as well as recommendation on the structure of the building to ensure it is fit for purpose to meet these needs.”
Cllr Perkins admits they are in the “discovery phase” of this project where they are trying to ascertain what villagers want and need: “To understand this we have built a very simple survey for the community to fill in and we really want as many people as possible to fill this in – so we have a good foundation to base the rest of the project on” she explains. “This will then allow us to assess the existing building and make the necessary recommendations.”
>>>The online survey link is https://forms.gle/t5NJ3AXrQ1b5XAV16<<<
As well as a short list of questions to the answer, there’s a space for you to leave comments and suggestions, too. RPC also plans to have alternative, paper versions of this form – which residents can fill in at the next Ruddington Village Market on Saturday December 5th, COVID-19 allowing.
The outcome of this consultation could determine whether the Parish Council relocates its own offices to the site, from St Peter’s Rooms (as it had originally envisaged), or dedicates the space fully to community activities for village groups of all ages – and perhaps for business use, too. There’s even a possibility the current building could be totally demolished and replaced – maybe creating further general village parking provision in the process?
Cllr Perkins adds: “I would encourage as many people as possible to fill in the survey – this is your chance to be heard!”
The deadline to submit your responses to RPC is Thursday 31st December 2020.