PLANS are progressing to turn an empty shell of a building into a thriving community hub.
Work is underway on a scheme to transform an old factory premises on the site of the Renewal Christian Centre, in Lode Lane.
The church bought-up the building, formerly the home of Classic Design, in 2006, and is converting it into the Renewal Activity Centre.
Over a £1m has already been spent on purchasing the premises, applying for a change of use, and carrying out renovations on the roof.
Currently church volunteers are in the midst of a massive fundraising drive; at least another £300,000 is needed to get the facility up-and-running.
It’s hoped the bulk of the work will be completed by Christmas, with the local community able to use facilities from 2013.
Jan Smart, chief executive of the RCC, said: “This isn’t going to be a church building, we want it to serve the needs of the community and provide things that aren’t available at the moment.
“At present we’re exploring a range of options for how to use this space. There could be anything from indoor skateboarding to a bowling green.
“The majority of the money is being provided through fundraising, though we will check to see if any grants are available to assist us.”
Among the fundraising efforts will be a 300-mile bike ride, taking in nine cathedrals, between May 28-June 1. Money will also be drummed up at the annual autumn fair.
q To help with the Activity Centre appeal, call 0121 711 7300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org