Wrexham Community Buildings Audit & Strategy
In 2005, Resources for Change workedwith ERS for the Northern Marches Cymru Partnership and Wrexham County Borough Council to carry out an audit of community buildings in Wrexham, leading to development of a county strategy for community buildings.
The recognition that a range of community buildings across Wrexham are not yet reaching their full potential led to a wide research project which aimed to:
- Gather comprehensive information about the community buildings resource
- To find out the needs of the County Borough’s community in relation to the community buildings resource;
- To review and learn from best practice elsewhere in UK and internationally;
- To provide options for the overall management of community buildings to meet community needs and to become more sustainable - economically, socially and environmentally.
- Resources for Change role in the team was to support the audit and analyse the information from it, leading to preparation of the strategic framework, which recommended how Wrexham could best move forward in relation to its community building resource.
The Strategic Framework identified areas for action and suggested solutions under seven theme headings:
- Capacity building and structures for management;
- Information advice and guidance;
- Business planning and meeting the needs of target communities;
- ICT and environmental sustainability;
- Multi-purpose buildings;
- Funding and sustainability; and
The central recommendations and next steps were creation of a working group, development of an action plan, creation of a central support role and development of a communications plan.
Strategic recommendations have been implemented, in particular the appointment of a co-ordinator as the central support role, and re-launch of a Community Centres Forum, now primarily Web-based (which has generated a lot of interest). Also, Northern Marches Cymru has been looking forward at how the strategy can be used to feed into the business plan for the new Rural Development Plan and has used the strategy to help to forge links with a transnational LEADER project in Ireland.
If you want to know more about our work in relation to community assets and buildings, please contact Helen Fairweather.