WWCE is delighted to announce that the road to a new community space for in Western Park for everyone has reached its most significant milestone yet, our plans have been approved!
After Leicester City Council put several small parcels of land along the Hinckley Road edge of Western Park up for sale in June 2016, Western Ward Community Enterprise (WWCE), a volunteer-run group made up of local residents has been working tirelessly to secure the ongoing use of part of these sites for use by the community. Following a successful crowdfunding campaign in late 2019 that raised significant funds, WWCE has been working with GSS Architecture to draw up ambitious plans to redevelop the site from its present derelict state.
The former “Eco House” was a symbol of Leicester’s status as the UK’s first Environment City. It was an example of the latest technologies available within environmental design when was opened by HRH Prince Charles in 1989. Both WWCE and GSS carefully considered the history of the site in order to respect the environmental ethos of the house, by the creation of a sustainable, eco-friendly, and bio-diverse development at the heart of the community dubbed Project Hive.
In addition to the variety of community spaces that will be available within Project Hive, there will also be both indoor and outdoor teaching areas, available for use by local schools. Speaking of the recent success for this project, Anna McAuley, Chair of WWCE, said, “This is such a tremendous milestone for the members of the WWCE, but also for the community in its entirety. GSS have been incredibly supportive and offered us unconditional advice all the way through. From this point onwards, the hard work begins. Finding approximately £500K for the build is no mean feat, but we hope that we can forge some fantastic partnerships with local businesses and educational facilities to keep the costs down as much as possible.”
Andrew Vallis, Architect leading the project at GSSArchitecture, said, “Working on this project to achieve this significant milestone has been an extremely rewarding experience, with an interesting site and an excellent client, whose desire to do something for the community as a whole has resulted in the success of this application. This approval is a symbol of WWCE’s drive and commitment to bring back a piece of Leicester’s history, as a usable asset for the whole community, respecting the site’s past and carrying on the sustainable intentions which have been an important part of Leicester’s story for many years.”
If you would like to find out more, contact us through our website wwce.org.uk