Impact Area: VCSE
SDGs: Sustainable Cities & Communities
Total Investment: £1 million
What they do
Since its beginnings in the 1970s, The Park Centre in Knowle West – a Bristol neighbourhood that ranks among the 10% most deprived nationally – has played an integral part in the community; welcoming local people and supporting them to learn, gain employment, keep fit and get to know each other.
This much-loved hub of the community had fallen into a poor state of repair and the building was becoming increasingly costly to maintain.
What we did / What the investment was for
Keeping the whole complex open would soon have become unviable, however good news for The Park came in the form of a £1 million investment from Bristol’s City Funds, the Bristol-based impact investment fund run by Bristol & Bath Regional Capital, for a new purpose-built community centre.
Local residents were involved in the design of their new community centre, which includes classrooms, conference rooms, a dance studio and gym as well as a cafe in the reception area.
In February 2022 the new building was ready to move into.
“After 21 years in our old building, we’re pleased to be in our brand new premises and still at the heart of the local community.
It was a tremendous team effort moving across but we are now settled in and we have had lots of positive comments about how nice it is – it’s feeling like home already!”
Emma Hinton, Director of The Park Centre.
“What we really value about City Funds is that they understand what we are trying to do. Sometimes people parachute into our community, but it doesn’t work because they don’t understand what the community wants and they’re quickly gone again. The Park is about the long-term and, because of that, things move slower than you might want. But City Funds understood that and has stood beside us along the way, making sure that ultimately the project creates something that the community really deserves – a new community asset that everyone can be proud of.”
Emma Hinton, Director of The Park Centre