Breathing life into Saffron Walden community hub!

Saffron Walden Town Council (SWTC) is delighted to announce it has a signed lease agreement from Uttlesford District Council (UDC) for a 10-year tenancy of the Garden Room in Jubilee Garden. The Town Council would like to thank UDC Officers and Councillors for their support in this lease transfer.

Town Clerk, Lisa Courtney says, “I am truly so excited that the signed lease is over the line and we can move forward in bringing this town centre community space to life”.

Over recent months, and in anticipation of the lease being concluded, SWTC has been working closely with Uttlesford Community Action Network (UCAN) and Enterprise East Group CIC (EE) regarding future activities in the Garden Room and to that end, will shortly be submitting a considerable bid to the National Lottery Fund for funding towards new and innovative proposals.  Notwithstanding that bid, the partners are ready to “go live” almost immediately and will be launching some “soft” community events and activities in the forthcoming weeks.

EE’s CEO, Sam McReynolds says, “we are really excited to be part of this amazing partnership and are looking forward to making the Garden Room a vibrant, inclusive and exciting place for the local community to come together and thrive”.

Whilst some of the activity is dependent on any Lottery Fund bid, in its simplest format, SWTC will open the doors as soon as possible.  It will offer a warm, safe space for people to meet and socialise, although it is anticipated that every session will be primarily driven by a specific event or activity.  SWTC and Churches Together Warm Welcome Hub (currently every Monday and Friday afternoon) will continue until at least April 2023.

With the primary focus of the Garden Room being community support, UCAN will have an office base within the venue for their Saffron Walden volunteering activities.  A regular community activity programme supported by both UCAN and EE will go live within the coming weeks.  Further details on the timetable of events will follow!

UCAN’s Chief Officer, Clive Emmett says, “we are very excited to be joining a collaboration with SWTC and EE to re-establish the Garden Room in the centre of Saffron Walden. This much needed community resource will be responding to local needs by offering a diverse programme of activities for local people and their families”.

Whilst UCAN and EE are SWTC’s primary partners, the aim is to work with all community support agencies and groups across Saffron Walden to enhance and improve the quality of life for its residents.  Expressions of interest in hiring the space should be directed to Colette; and these will be duly considered once the activity programme is confirmed.