North Prospect Beacon prepares to open its doors
Published by Louise Manico for Plymouth Community Homes in Communities and also in Environment, Housing
The interior of The Beacon
Plymouth Community Homes are proud to introduce the Beacon Community Hub in North Prospect – a new multi-purpose centre in the heart of the regeneration area. The building has just been officially handed from the builders (Barratt Homes) to PCH who own and manage the Beacon. The official ceremonial opening will be in May when it will also be open to residents.
The community hub is a centre for residents, local businesses and the wider community, with spaces being available for rent by local organisations (businesses, social enterprises, community groups, charities and others). It is already home to North Prospect’s Sure Start nursery, soon to be joined by the Sure Start Shop and the local library. There are residential homes now being occupied by PCH tenants on the top 3 floors.
Children from the Lark Sure Start Nursery were the first tenants on the ground floor, having re-located from North Prospect Primary School. Children’s Centre Manager Elizabeth Knight said; “It’s great being in a large, modern building and the children have adapted really well. The children benefit greatly from being here as they are now more involved and more visible in the community.”
Tony and Trish Brown were first to sign a tenancy agreement for one of the 39 homes for over 55s. They had watched the block being built, passing by from their former home in West Park. They have grandchildren and are “amazed at the amount of space” in which to welcome them on visits. Mrs Brown said: “I’m in heaven – these apartments are lovely. Hopefully this is the new up and coming part of Plymouth.”
Lee Barry, 33, has recently moved into the Beacon with his father who was having trouble with the stairs in their former property. He said: ”Our community have never had anything like this. It’s going to help bring us all together. It’s absolutely amazing and I want to thank PCH for what they have done here. Its spectacular.”
Clive Turner, Chief Executive of Plymouth Community Homes added: ”It’s great to see our vision come to life here at the Beacon. Our hope has always been that this can be a place for the community to meet, learn, work, live, get skilled or spend their down time. We’re saying to them; The Beacon is for you. Over 55 and want to move home? Want to read the latest bestseller? Or go online and look for work? Need a safe learning environment for your child or want to meet a friend for coffee? It will all be here.”
Clive continued: “The Beacon Community Hub is our way of keeping our promise to the North Prospect community. When we started the regeneration programme we said we would create a place where people want to live and work. This centre is a massively exciting step towards that. Residents have been involved in the creation of this space, including naming it ‘Beacon’. We hope that local residents and businesses alike will seize this opportunity with both hands.”
Work started in 2012 on the building which has three storeys of commercial space with three residential storeys above and is designed around a large atrium. There is a large community hall, café area and a variety of meeting rooms for public use, parking and outside space.
Community groups or businesses who wish to hire the facilities should contact Phil Burgoyne, Project Officer (The Beacon) at PCH on 01752 388315 or firstname.lastname@example.org