A leading York-based social enterprise will design and run a new concept of community facility on the former Heworth Gasworks site in York, as part of the full regeneration of this long-term derelict brownfield site.
Social Vision will manage and run a community space that will be at the heart of the new development, located towards Eboracum Way and Heworth Green.
Through their extensive connections across York and North Yorkshire, and track record of innovation, Social Vision will also be collaborating with local social enterprises and charities to create a space for the local community.
The total space available is around 4,000 sq ft and the concept and uses will evolve, and be refined, as discussions take place with local charities and community organisations, to engage as many people as possible.
A planning application was submitted recently by North Star and Moda Living to create high quality new homes, a new neighbourhood park and landscaping throughout the former gasworks site, located off Heworth Green, on the edge of the City Centre.
Joe Gardham, Director of Social Vision, said:
“We know that social isolation, loneliness and mental health are three issues affecting many York residents. So, we’re taking a 21st Century approach to designing a community centre – a modern, relevant space that attracts and caters for local residents.
“We are fortunate that in the immediate area we have the excellent Centre@Burnholme supporting people with additional needs, and the superb Tang Hall Community Centre that focusses on healthy eating and food poverty. We will focus on York’s ageing population, children and families and isolated men – three issues that are currently lacking in provision in York.
The new community hub will feature a laid-back deli café, showcasing local produce and run by a local social enterprise that reinvests its profits into mental health, wellbeing and social isolation projects.
A percentage of profits will also go into a Foundation that will help talented young people across the city reach their potential.
“Our new Foundation, created from the profits of this project, will make it easy for any young person in York to fulfil their potential by having access to an emergency grant fund.”
“Throughout the day we will be a buzzing space frequented by people and groups across York who are looking for a family-friendly, fully accessible space. A full engagement process will be launched with local charities and groups to offer as many benefits as possible to the local community.”
The project will be funded by the joint developer of the site, North Star, and if planning permission is granted the community space could open in 2021.
A spokesperson for North Star commented:
“This will be a great addition to the new vibrant community that we are developing on this derelict site. We have been impressed with the ideas and innovation showed by Social Vision and it will be a great addition to the local area.
“It is a new concept that we think will be a massive success and popular with both new and existing residents, as well as supporting other charities and good causes. It fits in well with York’s heritage of being a City of social pioneers.”
Since its inception in 2016, York-based Social Vision has worked with a wide range of charities and community organisations, championing ways to integrate social welfare into business and tackling social inequality. The organisation also provides free mentoring to people who need it most.