Transformation begins for former city youth club
Plans to transform a former youth club into a welcoming community hub and church are to get underway after City of Wolverhampton Council officially handed over ownership of the building.
Windmill Community Church, a registered charity, will now begin developing the club on Henwood Road in Compton to offer a range of activities to benefit the local community. These will include a coffee hub, craft activities, a ramblers group, community choir, work with young people, parenting courses and Sunday services.
The building had stood empty since September 2019, until the church approached the council with plans for the transformation. After reviewing the proposals and consulting with the community, City of Wolverhampton Council agreed to issue a 99-year commercial lease for the property.
The church will now take on responsibility for the renovation and running of the building and members have undertaken a massive fundraising campaign to enable works to start on the transformation later this year.
Windmill Community Church has previously raised funds and transformed the St Thomas Church building in Finchfield into a vibrant community venue.
Terry Wilkes, church leader at Windmill Community Church, said members of the church would continue to work with local residents to ask them what else they would like to see at the venue.
We are a caring and welcoming church run and financed by volunteers and our aim is to strengthen the community so people have a place to belong.
Our current church in Finchfield provides this and we would like to offer the same for the people of Compton. We are also part of the city’s Social Prescribing network which aims to combat loneliness and we hope to build on this work. We are grateful to City of Wolverhampton Council, the cabinet member, ward councillors, staff and our local MP for their support as we take on the building for the benefit of local residents.”
Cabinet Member for City Assets and Housing at City of Wolverhampton Council, Councillor Bhupinder Gakhal, said:
It’s really fantastic when surplus council-owned buildings can be used in such an innovative and supportive way by the local community. The plans for the church and community hub sound wonderful and I am sure they will bring great benefits to the people living in the local area.
The church members are also very willing to hear from the local community so the services they offer meet what residents might need. I would encourage anyone living near the venue to share their thoughts on the kind of activities and events they would like to see there. This feedback will be very useful for the church to provide the best for the local community.”
A community open day is planned for Saturday 11th September, between 10.30am and 3pm, so people can find out more about the transformation plans.
The church will also distribute a newsletter to local residents later in the summer giving them chance to share their views and people can visit the church’s website at www.windmillcommunitychurch.org
Image caption (L-R): Front row - Kath Kirk-Booton, Chair of Trustees, Terry Wilkes, Church Leader and Founder, Councillor Bhupinder Gakhal, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Assets and Housing; Back row - Gary Rouwenhorst, Elder, Mike Domoney, Trustee, Dave Bamber, Elder, Katy Carter, Trustee, and Julian Parkes, Trustee.