Norwich City Council

Working to renovate community spaces according to the priorities of local people – through the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy

Following our success across Norfolk delivering 12 community projects through the Community Renewal Fund, including The Phoenix Centre in Mile Cross and Norwich Lads Boxing Club, we’re now working to renovate 12 community spaces in Norwich across 14 months through the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL). This is a community funding programme that uses money collected from developers, with spending led by the priorities of the community. Here’s a rundown of our projects and impact so far.

Community East Skatepark, Kings Street

First up, we worked towards the completion of an indoor skatepark and skate shop transformation within the disused St Peter Parmentergate church. We helped construct their skateboard racks, build a store counter and refreshed the reception area and toilets through painting & decorating, with the help of 29 local young volunteers applying carpentry and painting skills!

See the finished park here on BBC Look East!

Cadge Road Community Centre

This large outdoor space was significantly under-utilised at this well-used centre, run by the Henderson Trust charity. We helped to construct a number of outdoor benches and planters and a brick BBQ, for them to be able to host outdoor activities, sports, gardening and connecting with members of this deprived community, as identified in feedback from its users and the local community.

“We can’t wait until the warmer weather when we can take our group outside and make use of the BBQ and benches, we have already started planning what we will be planting in the planter that has been allocated to us. We are so grateful to VIY for making them for us!”

User, Cadge Road Community Centre

Epic Studios

This ‘epic’ broadcast, music & arts venue was desperately in need of a refresh, to reflect all of the brilliant, creative work and entertainment happening at the venue. We helped fit a new kitchen, including tiling and and redecorating throughout, with the help of 17 young people and 13 City & Guilds accreditations (including our first in tiling for the year!)

We have had a lot of comments from touring artists on how they love the space here at Epic, not only that but the staff too are enjoying the office space so much more! Having the decorating work done in the production and dressing room areas has helped to make the studios more welcoming and as a result we are attracting bigger and better artists to the venue benefitting both the residents who will no longer have to travel further afield but also the local economy by attracting people to the area.

Laura Rycroft, General Manager, Epic Studios

Community Skill Share Shop, Drayton Road

Once a bakery on the edge of a large housing estate, ‘The Shop’ had been vacant for a number of years. Following consultation with the local community, the ambition was to transform it into a community skill share hub. We made this space fit for purpose by creating fitted storage and lockable cupboards, shelving, new flooring and adding an accessible ramp, with the help of 18 young volunteers – who’ve already or since volunteered on further VIY projects!

Community group ‘The Common Lot’ have begun delivering skill share sessions for the community including clothes repair, knitting, arts and crafts, energy saving advice and a visit from Norfolk Wildlife.

I found this experience eye opening. I have never tried practical work before but have loved it! VIY has given me a career direction and I can’t wait to start a carpentry course in September. The mentors have been great, and I have really enjoyed working with new people..”

Honey, 17, VIY Volunteer

TPF Parkour Club, Mile Cross

TPF Parkour Club in Norwich, home to gymnastics, parkour and free-running and a local cubs and scouts group, wanted to improve their surroundings for all users and attract new members.  As well as the bold mural, we’ve upgraded the male and female toilets by installing glazed tiling, mirrors and a new coat of paint.

Part-funded by Toolstation, our ninth project and 200th City & Guilds accreditation funded by our trade partner, and Sport England.

Read about our partnership with Toolstation here

Pilling Park Community Centre

Our 5th project with Norwich City Council this year, where we helped Pilling Park Community Centre with much needed redecoration, as well as building some planters for their local youth club to be able to grow their own fruit & vegetables to serve up in meals for local people struggling to make ends meet.

“The young volunteers were polite, chatted and really seemed to be enjoying working for you on this placement. They had the correct equipment and Team Leaders that spoke to them at appropriate levels – there was a joy about the team and their work. Our groups have complimented your works and the level of care and attention to detail.

We look forward to using the planters you made lots….vegetable soup coming up for our families that struggle to survive when we next cook together.”

Glenda Prior, Pilling Park Community Centre Management Team

West Earlham Community Centre

This is an important space for the local Polish and Ukrainian communities in Norwich. With the help of 14 local young volunteers, we have improved the external space with new benches, tables, gates, planters and user-friendly slabbed pathing to increase the security and accessibility of the outside space, and also to expand the groups and activities they offer to include a youth club, playgroup and gardening club.

Strong Roots Allotment

Here we helped local charity Strong Roots to repair and refurbish their therapeutic garden and wooden therapy hut, a space focused on reducing social isolation and promoting positive mental health. We were joined by 5 volunteers from our trade partners at Toolstation who all volunteered their time to get stuck in on the tools to build a wood store to ensure they have sufficient wood supplies to heat the hut and provide therapy services in winter.

Norfolk & Norwich Social Club for the Deaf

Here we’ve helped to create a more welcoming space in this well-used and popular venue for deaf people, people with hearing impairments and their friends to come together to socialise and take part in activities in a relaxed and familiar environment. We’ve redecorated their large communal spaces and provided new flooring for their meeting room and office.

New Routes Integration

Here we are helping to make this important community space, an integration centre supporting young people seeking asylum and refuge in Norfolk, a more welcoming place from which to deliver employability and skills training, social integration activities and support services such as housing, medical and financial awareness. We’re helping them to redecorate and create a fit-for-purpose outdoor area with a handmade shed, fence, pathway and planters.