Norwich community centre thriving - a year after it was saved

A group which fought to save a vital community asset from being lost is celebrating its first anniversary – with the centre which they helped save thriving.

The Silver Road Community Centre – once an old people's day centre known as The Silver Rooms – was deemed surplus to Norfolk County Council's requirements back in 2009.

But a group of activists, led by Labour city and county councillor Julie Brociek-Coulton and former Norwich North MP Ian Gibson, were determined to save it.

Last year, the county council agreed to lease the building to them for a peppercorn rent for the next 25 years and the group set about transforming it for community use. Secretary Julie Brociek-Coulton said: 'It was an uphill struggle, from the start, but what kept us going is that we knew there was a vital need, in a part of the city where there are far too few facilities.

'We're up and running now – hiring the rooms out for parties, bringing the place back to life.'


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A broken boiler was the latest setback but, thanks to donations from QD stores, Norwich City Council and an anonymous donor, that hurdle has been overcome.

Regular users include Pilates classes, dance, a youth club, crafts, a community choir, yoga, martial arts and art sessions for older people, while a dementia cafe with the Forget Me Nots Club is launching in March.

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The group is holding its annual general meeting at 7pm on Friday, with William Armstrong, the Sheriff of Norwich the guest speaker.

Anyone who wants to volunteer to help at the centre should call 07786 694325.

Are you working to breathe new life into a community building? Call Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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