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Empowering the local community in Silver End

Empowering the local community in Silver End

Francis Crittall Pavilion reopens after refurbishment for benefit of all

Braintree District Council Chairman Vanessa Santomauro officially re-opened the Francis Crittall Pavilion in Silver End on Saturday, September 15th after its refurbishment which means the building is now multi-purpose for the whole community to enjoy.

In a joint project which saw Braintree District Council work closely with local residents, the pavilion has been improved to extend its use from just changing rooms to other community uses such as children’s parties, fundraising events, recreational clubs and children’s day-care.

The building was originally built in 2010 to provide changing facilities which were used by Silver End Youth Football Club but the community together with Braintree District Council wanted to make sure the building was being used to its full potential.

As a result the Council entered an agreement with local residents who then set up The Francis Crittall Pavilion Trust (FCPT) with trustees volunteering from the local community.

The council has invested £40,000 towards the refurbishment project on the condition that the community ‘owned’ the grounds and pavilion and took on the running costs. Braintree District Council will continue to maintain the grass pitches for a further 12 months to give FCPT the opportunity to focus on the building, following which they will then take over the direct management and maintenance of the open space.

In early 2018, The Trust proposed refurbishment works which would create a nursery in addition to the existing changing rooms and successfully secured planning permission to carry out the required work. The refurbishment was completed on 31st of August, bang on the Trust’s deadline for completion. The facilities were transferred to the Trust on 3 September 2018 on a 50 year lease agreement.

Cllr Wendy Schmitt, Cabinet Member for Environment and Place at Braintree District Council, said: “We recognised and so did residents in the village, that we had a building that was not fulfilling its potential for the community. With capital funding and the support of a few local residents who set up the Francis Crittall Pavilion Trust, we have jointly been able to refurbish the building and create new facilities for the benefit of the local community including a nursery and pre-school to meet an important demand in the village.”

Braintree District Council Chairman Cllr Vanessa Santomauro said: “This is a very good example of where the Council has empowered and worked with the local community in transferring an asset to them to directly control and manage locally and all credit has to go to the local residents who stepped up and formed the Trust for the benefit of the community.”

Iain Ashford, Chair of the Trustees of The Francis Crittall Pavilion Trust, said: “This building is now a much needed real asset to the whole of the community in Silver End allowing a wide variety of users to make the most of the space. It will make a huge difference to many. The fact that this work has been delivered on time and on budget is the culmination of a lot of work behind the scenes and it would not have been possible without our volunteers and Braintree District Council.”

The Trust is made up of representatives of Silver End Youth Football Club, Silver Steps Childcare, Silver End Parish Council and members of the public.