Renovated hub will 'bring community feel back'

Enfield Independent: Gina Needs (centre left) celebrating the opening of the new community hub Gina Needs (centre left) celebrating the opening of the new community hub

 A disused bowls club has been transformed following a £60,000 renovation.

Friends of Albany Park are hoping to recreate a community feel in the area after officially opening their new community hub.

The group applied for money from then Enfield Residents Priority Fund at Enfield Council and have seen their dreams for the derelict building become a reality.

Group chairman Gina Needs told the Enfield Independent the area had lost its sense of community.

She said: “When I came here 25 years ago there was a great community spirit but now it's broken, People are afraid to even make eye contact let alone talk to one another.

“But we did see a willingness from people round here to get behind our plan and we had more than 250 signatures of support from residents.”

The hub, which will also be a cafe, is run by volunteers and will also be open for forums and groups.

Ms Needs added: “We want to have that community feel back and this is a great opportunity for everyone round here.

“We are always in need of volunteers to help run the place. Hopefully we can all pull together to organise many fun projects at the park.”

Speaking at the opening, Councillor Yasemin Brett, who is responsible for community organisations, said: “Thanks to the priority fund this excellent scheme has finally been completed. I would like to congratulate Gina Needs and the Friends of Albany Park for their tireless dedication in getting this unique community facility off the ground.

“£5.5 million has been spent on priority fund projects since its inception, and this new hub is going to be a huge success.”

Councillor Chris Bond, Enfield Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Enfield is one of London’s greenest boroughs, and Enfield Council is always looking for new ways to get people into our beautiful parks to enjoy the surroundings and make use of the facilities.

“We have 123 parks and open spaces, playgrounds, sports facilities, historical sites, a nature reserve and much more, and we would love people to come and find out about them all.

“The Albany Community Hub will ensure that even more people will now come to Albany Park, and I was delighted to open this fantastic new community space with Cllr Brett.”

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