Landmark pub to be transformed into community space
Rochford has been selected as one of just five town centres in the country to launch a new community space scheme.
This comes after Rochford District Council made a successful application to the MHCLG (Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government) Open Doors pilot, which will enable commercial units at the former King’s Head Public House to be transformed into a space to support the needs of the local community.
The ‘Open Doors’ scheme seeks to match landlords with empty properties with community groups looking for space. The pilots will be directly managed by the independent charity, Meanwhile Foundation in partnership with Meanwhile Space CIC, chosen for its existing work and experience in operating a brokerage service matching vacant premises with community groups looking for spaces to work.
This will be an opportunity for the Council, working in partnership with a developer, to revitalise a popular local landmark in the town centre. In addition, it will provide a base on to help local community and voluntary groups to deliver a wide range of important outreach activities, from units fronting onto the main square.
In a separate project, the Council has agreed to enter into a lease with the owners to use the remainder of the King’s Head building as temporary accommodation. This will be transformed into 11 self-contained rooms to help those who urgently need to be housed.
Managing Director of Rochford District Council, Shaun Scrutton, said: “Rochford is a town rich in heritage and community spirit, which has tremendous potential.
“It is therefore very welcome to learn that our submission is one of five chosen from across England, and it is hoped that the additional visibility and footfall generated by the project will contribute to the ongoing process of ensuring the town centre remains relevant to the needs of residents and visitors, and will stimulate further confidence and investment in the town.
How community groups can take part
The Meanwhile Foundation welcomes a broad range of community-orientated ideas and proposals that could make positive use of this high street space. The ideas don’t have to be fully formed at this stage – this is a chance to test them out in a supportive space. Meanwhile Space is open to discussing proposals and the way in which they are programmed, e.g. one-off events, regular events, pop up slots, to make them purpose-fit for the spaces. The space is offered free of charge to successful applicants.
Apply for space
The first round of applications will be reviewed on the 22nd of April, rolling thereafter.
To find out more, and to take part, go to: https://www.meanwhile.org.uk/posts/9-open-doors