City Council holds community engagement events for East Oxford Community Centre redevelopment

Published: Wednesday, 11th September 2019

The City Council and community groups at the East Oxford Community Centre are holding the first of two engagement events on Friday 20 September at the community centre.

The events will be the first opportunity for local residents and users of the centre to see the architectural plans for the new centre, and a chance to give feedback to the architects and council representatives. It will also be a celebration of the centre’s place in the community, with performances from groups using the centre and free food provided.

Event details

The event will run 3-8pm on Friday 20 September at the East Oxford Community Centre, 44 Princes Street, Oxford OX4 1DD.

Young people from the local area are part of the team hosting the event, through the City Council’s Youth Ambition programme. They will be showcasing the designs to local residents and helping take feedback that will go to the development team..

Community groups will also be providing a mix of activities and information about their groups and what happens at the centre.

The second community event will take place in November, which will show how feedback from the first engagement event has been incorporated into the designs, and will be a final opportunity to influence the designs before a planning application is submitted.

About the redevelopment

The redevelopment will see the Chinese Community Centre and the Fusion Arts buildings demolished and replaced with a new three-storey building featuring purpose-built space for Fusion Arts and Film Oxford; flexible community space; and office space.

The Old School building will be completely refurbished to create a new kitchen, new toilets and more flexible community spaces.

East Oxford Community Centre needs to be redeveloped because aging buildings on the site are no longer usable. Part of the Chinese Community Centre has been condemned and is no longer open to the public, and the old ‘B Block’ has had to be demolished.

The redevelopment plans follow from a public consultation which showed that the community wanted a fully redeveloped centre. This will cost £3.7m and will be partly funded by housing development on the current Film Oxford site and East Oxford Games Hall and in the current East Oxford Community Centre grounds. 

Community groups at East Oxford Community Centre

Groups that will be based at the redeveloped site include: Fusion Arts, Film Oxford, Oxford Chinese Community and Advice Centre, BK.Luwo, and The Oxford Action Resource Centre. Regular activities range from yoga to lindy hop to Friday prayer.

“This event is about celebrating what the East Oxford Community Centre means to the local community, and involving them in its redevelopment. We want to have a conversation with local people about how the new centre should work for them in its layout and use of space, and make sure we’re listening to their needs. We know from the consultation they want a fully redeveloped centre, this is our chance to hear their ideas about how they want to use it in the future and make sure we’re working together for an inclusive and vibrant Centre at the heart of East Oxford.”

Marie Tidball, Cabinet Member for Supporting Local Communities

The housing developments, at East Oxford Games Hall and the current Film Oxford site and in the community centre grounds, are still being designed and will not be showcased at this event.