THE NEW community continues to build at Foundation House before it’s even open – with four more groups being granted space at the hub.
Stratford Town Trust unveiled plans for Foundation House – a new facility bringing the community together under one roof – in June.
Organisations were asked to register interest for space at the hub which will take over a 950-square metre industrial unit in Masons Road.
And the demand has been overwhelming with 35 groups expressing an interest to date.
The first three set to move in were announced last month – Stratford’s Men’s Shed, WRAP (Warwickshire Reminiscence Action Project) and Second Thoughts Drama Group.
The Observer can now reveal they will be joined by Welcombe Radio, Shakespeare Lions, Addaction and Escape Arts.
The building is currently being refurbished by the trust.
Groups are expected to take up residency from October, with an official launch in November. A hub manager is being appointed, with a new website also underway.
Trust chief executive Justin Williams said: “The demand for space has exceeded all expectation.
“What’s really exciting is the diversity of groups approaching us for space – and the way they are all so keen to work together. That’s what Foundation House is all about; a real hub for Stratford-upon-Avon where groups can benefit each other and the wider community as a result.”
That sentiment was echoed by the Shakespeare Lions – which will get valuable storage space at Foundation House.
Treasurer Anne Turner said: “We are delighted to be able to use the new space provided at Foundation House as it will benefit us practically by providing a central location for the storage of our fundraising equipment and materials. However, we are particularly looking forward to meeting with and developing relations with other Foundation tenants. This will help us to learn more about their needs and goals and to possibly assist them in their community work either through giving them some of our time or our funds.”
Addaction is a leading UK drug, alcohol and mental health charity, and being granted space at Foundation House to runs its support services.
Team Leader Sarah Coleman said: “Locally we are commissioned to support adults, young adults and older people to make positive behavioural changes. Our services are delivered by teams of experienced, dedicated and committed individuals with expertise in delivering drug and alcohol interventions, and supporting people to change their lives.
“In order to support service users in Stratford we are delighted to be given space in Foundation House to facilitate group work sessions, one to one appointments and prescribing clinics as well as having the opportunity to link in with other community groups.”
Escape Arts has also been granted space – providing a much-needed office base.
And spokeswoman Karen Williams said it was also opportunity for sharing resources and forging partnerships that is key.
“It’s just a brilliant idea and something so many groups have really needed. We’re just delighted to be part of it. It will allow us all to work with each other, to develop new partnerships, to share resources, to signpost; those information-sharing opportunities are fantastic and really important.”
Welcome Radio has also been granted space for a new studio to expand its community broadcasting.
Chairman Peter Keynton-Hook said: “All those at Welcombe Radio are excited about being involved with Foundation House. This project reflects our ethos in a very practical way of bringing organisations together which are focused upon helping build community ties. It will really help us fulfil further our aim of creating a radio station that supports all aspects of the local community. Just the chance of building two studios to operate from will make such a difference to us.”
Foundation House offers both large and small spaces over two floors, with full disabled access, multiple kitchen and toilet facilities and 40 parking spaces.
As well as the more long-term spaces being granted by the trust, spaces can also be let, with hot desking facilities and four meeting rooms/event spaces also available for hire and community use.
Organisations can continue to register their interest. Visit www.research.net/r/FoundationEOI for details.