Oxford City Council has announced its plans to support tenant organisations of East Oxford Community Centre to move to alternate accommodation while the site is being redeveloped.
The Council has undertaken extensive engagement with community tenant organisations and it was clear the most important considerations for tenants were affordability, accessible transport links and trying to keep groups together.
It has found a suitable option to relocate the current tenants to one affordable site, a previous large shop unit within Templars Square. Tenants do not have to take up the Council’s offer of accommodation if they prefer to find their own alternative.
Work on the £5.4m redevelopment project is planned to start in May, after the community tenants leave, with some intrusive surveys and asbestos removal before the site becomes much busier when the full redevelopment works begin later on.
In addition to much-needed new social housing, the project will deliver a modern, accessible community centre for the next generation in east Oxford, used by a broader range of the community and helping celebrate local diversity, heritage and cultural identity.
Groups that will be based at the redeveloped site include: Fusion Arts, Film Oxford, Oxford Chinese Community and Advice Centre, BK.Luwo, East Oxford Community Association, ACKHI, OxPots, Green Print and The Oxford Action Resource Centre.
Councillor Shaista Aziz, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Communities, said:
“The City Council values the great work done by organisations currently housed in East Oxford Community Centre, one of the most diverse areas of our city. We are doing everything we can to support tenants to continue their work with as little disruption as possible.
“We acknowledge the very special place the East Oxford Community Centre has in the hearts of people in East Oxford and across the city. The legacy of the relationships and friendships developed in this centre have changed and transformed many lives. We know there is a great deal of affection for the community centre and we know how difficult the process of moving will be for many tenants, some of whom have been based there for a very long time.
“We believe the Templars Square location will be the best option based on the feedback we’ve received from tenants and the City Council will continue to offer its support throughout the redevelopment process.”