Crowborough Community Centre has been ‘Highly Commended’ in the Sussex Heritage Trust Awards 2014.
The £3.2 million building which was opened in 2012, was recognised in the Category for Public and Community Projects for achieving the brief to design an energy efficient community centre.
The certificate was awarded to the Crowborough Community Association by Rt Hon Lord Egremont DL, President of Sussex Heritage Trust at a ceremony held at Pangean Old Barn, in Pyecombe, Brighton.
The design consultant for the Community Centre was Clive Wilson of Domicile Architectural Design, based in Crowborough, the principal architect was Morgan Carn, Brighton, and the main contractor was Sunninghill Construction of Haywards Heath.
You can take a video tour of the Community Centre and look at its main hall, meeting rooms, dance studio, café and associated facilities:
But it was only in the 90s whena combination of factors made the new centre a real possibility. A steering group was formed, and in 1997, the Town Council agreed to set-aside £100,000 per year from Council Tax to help pay for it.
The small group of residents working on the project, were ultimately rewarded for their dedication, when the National Lottery awarded £300,000 from the Community Buildings programme. Later a further £175,000 Lottery money was given.
Another boost was when Wealden District Council agreed to rent landadjacent to their offices on Pine Grove at a peppercorn rate.
By then, Crowborough Town Council has amassed £1.3 million towards the build costs. But when it became clear that in order to deliver the project to the timetable specified by the National Lottery additional funds would need to be guaranteed, Crowborough Town Council stepped in again, taking out a loan of £1.4 million from funds available to local authorities at special rates. Over the last three financial years, Crowborough Town Council has also been helping towards staff costs.
You can read more about the history of the Centre here.
Since its opening in 2012, Crowborough Community Centre has exceeded all targets for bookings and the CCA Board say it will be self-supporting by next year.
Former Wealden Council Offices, Pine Grove:
Recently, the Community Association has made a formal proposal to purchase the adjacent Pine Grove offices to create an Enterprise Hub with community space. A funding and financing package of £2 to £2.1 million is being put together by the Community Interest Company formed by the CCA. You can read more about their plans here.