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Bullingdon Community Association given keys to new £1.5m community centre

Oxford City Council handed over the keys to the new Bulligdon Community Centre today to the local community association, which will take on running the centre.

The new centre provides flexible space for community activities, meetings, social gatherings, and will be run by the Bullingdon Community Association on behalf of local residents.

Construction on the building only began in January this year, replacing the 1950s centre that had deteriorated significantly over the years. The council’s contractor, ODS, have been able to complete the build on time and within budget within a year thanks to the modular design, where sections are created off site and assembled around a steel frame, rather than brick-laying from the ground up.

The new building has been designed to be good to the environment, using solar panels, a heat pump, low-energy lighting and high insulation to reduce energy needs, making this one of the most energy efficient community centres in Oxford.

The handover of keys marks the start of the community association’s work to get the centre open. They will now begin furnishing the centre to create a welcoming local space for a wide range of activities. Prior to the pandemic when the old centre closed, the community association helped provide a wide range of activities including parent and toddler groups, activities for older people, junior football teams, a monthly Swap Shop, educational activities and much more.

Councillor Shaista Aziz, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Communities and Culture

“Community centres are a really important part of communities, providing places to share, learn, celebrate and care for each other. Bullingdon has been closed since the start of the pandemic, it’s wonderful to be able to hand the keys to this new centre so local residents have a shared space once again.

“I want to thank the community association for their work with us on getting this new centre right for local needs. With the cost of living crisis community support is more important than ever, and I look forward to seeing the new centre up and running in the new year.”

Richard Bryant from the Bulligdon Community Association

“We are delighted to have a new community centre for the residents of Lye Valley and Wood Farm. It is over six years since the main hall of the old community centre was declared unfit for purpose and it has been a long and challenging struggle to achieve this outcome.

“We owe a big thanks to local residents, councillors and our user groups for their support over the years. We now have a new ‘state of the art’ community building with improved space and facilities for group and recreational activities, children and family parties and local support services. This is particularly important for Lye Valley and Wood Farm because, over recent years, the area has lost many of its meeting places and social spaces. People have been waiting for the new centre to open and are delighted that they can now use it.

“The BCA would like to thank the City Council for funding the redevelopment and ODS and the architects Jessop and Cook for their excellent work on the design and building of the new community centre.”

Simon Howick, Managing Director from ODS 

“We are extremely proud to have been involved in this project – particularly the environmental aspects.  From start to finish it has been constructed in such a way that will minimise energy consumption.  This not only means a reduction in the carbon footprint of the building, but it will ensure that the running costs will be kept to a minimum for the local association and users of the building for years to come.”