COMMUNITY organisations are being invited to express their interest in running Leicester’s African Caribbean Centre.
The centre, in Maidstone Road, Highfields, is a well-used and popular venue that provides a range of activities and opportunities for local people, as well as acting as a focal point for the city’s African Caribbean community.
Now the city council is offering local groups the chance to take over the day-to-day running of the centre.
City mayor Peter Soulsby said: “We’re offering this opportunity because we know that local communities often welcome the chance to express an interest in running their local centre. This has formed the basis of our city-wide Transforming Neighbourhood Services programme, and has seen other centres successfully transferred to community groups for them to run.
“A recent consultation showed that just over half – 53% - of people who expressed a preference would like to see a community organisation take on the lease and running of the African Caribbean Centre. This result means we want to explore this option further, but we need to ensure any group that takes on this role is the right choice for us and for the community.
“Community organisations will need to provide a business plan to show us they have the capacity, experience and resources to take on the running of the African Caribbean Centre. The business plan must demonstrate a significant expansion of community services, with a particular focus on serving the needs of the African and Caribbean heritage community and strengthening the ongoing connection of the African and Caribbean community with the building.”
The opportunity to apply for running the centre is expected to launch in mid-June, and will remain open for three months. Support will be available to help community organisations develop business plans, and a strict set of assessment criteria will ensure business plans are realistic and will provide the best services for existing users and communities.
Organisations interested in the opportunity will be able to find full details on the council’s Property Shop website from mid-June: www.leicester.gov.uk/propertyshop
Find out more about Leicester’s community centres at leicester.gov.uk/communitycentres
See the results of the consultation at: https://consultations.leicester.gov.uk/communications/african-caribbean-centre-survey/