Our Story:

 

Blue Box Belper became a charity in May 2018, following its initial formation by several residents as a constituted community group in 2012. The aims of the original group were to build the capacity for activities for children and young people on the Parks Estate, hosted from the original Blue Box building. However, since an arson attack in August 2014 resulted in the original Blue Box being demolished in 2015, Blue Box Belper began to develop plans for a new Community Centre, which would serve the needs of the whole community.

 

Following a successful Community Meeting on 23rd May 2016, a new Committee was formed, and substantive progress began to be made. 4 working sub-groups have been developed to progress some specific tasks. These sub-groups include a mixture of committee members and residents with specific skills, and cover the following projects:

a) building project;  b) community activities;  c) fundraising;  d) media and communications

 

Whilst focus has been on developing the building project, Blue Box Belper has also been developing community activities and initiatives, in order to increase community engagement ahead of the new Community Centre. These activities will then transfer to the new Community Centre once it is built. These initiatives have included:

 

a.  Supporting the ongoing youth provision through securing funding (e.g. from Public Health) for regular sports provision and activities for vulnerable young people around healthy lifestyle education.

b.  Cuppa Cake Chat has been running for one year, which is a monthly social gathering for older residents, hosted from the Belper Early Years Centre, where capacity is now being reached.

c.  Chair-obics is now hosted weekly for residents, again from the Belper Early Years Centre, where capacity is now being reached.

d.  A Community Newsletter is produced every quarter to update residents on local activities and progress with the Blue Box project.

e.  Fundraising Activities, especially those involving the youth group happen regularly, including bag packing, quiz nights and awareness raising at local events.

f.   Supporting local providers active on the Parks Estate, such as ongoing support for Derbyshire County Council’s youth provision, especially their summer holiday programme. In addition, supporting local art provider Fleet Arts, with their summer activities on the Parks Estate.

g.  Following an initial consultation process, we continue to consult regularly with residents on the proposal of a new facility, through questionnaires and meetings, as well as lots of positive conversations with residents during our Annual Community Fun Days.

h.  A robust Business Plan was developed in October 2016, and following successfully becoming a charity, this is now being updated. It outlines how the new Community Centre will operate sustainably once built.

i.  Significant funds (over £40,000) have already been secured towards the building and further grants have been identified, and will be applied for, once a lease agreement is agreed with Amber Valley Borough Council and planning permission has been granted. Funding support has so far been secured from local councils, including £25,000 from Belper Town Council and £6,000 from Derbyshire County Council, as well as £9,000 through general fundraising.

 

The proposed new Blue Box:

 

The new community facility building will be available for use by the whole community. Having such a space will have a hugely positive impact on the Parks Estate enabling residents to have somewhere to gather. It will need to be a multi-use space for a variety of different community groups and purposes, in order to be sustainable long term. The space will be accessible for everyone and therefore have good disabled access and provision too. There also needs to be good storage within the building for different furniture and equipment. The building will also have the capacity to prepare and serve simple food and drinks.

The building itself will find a balance between its aesthetics, security, durability, energy efficiency, accessibility and of course be cost effective to build. The design reflects the current and future anticipated needs of users and to diversify income-generation options. The design will seek to have the lowest cost approach that delivers long-term sustainability and comfort and practicality to users. It will be a secure, safe and pleasant environment, with minimal bills, carbon footprint and maintenance costs by using good design, modern systems and simple measures.

 

The proposal is for the Community Centre is to provide:

• One main activity room, which can accommodate 50-70 people depending on configuration.

• A kitchen (4.2m x 4.2m) that allows sufficient catering capacity for a community café, refreshments and basic cookery lessons. It will include a large cooker and sink, alongside basic equipment as well as adequate storage for kitchenware and individual groups’ items.

• Use of natural daylight through a pitched butterfly roof to improve aesthetics, reduce energy and carbon, and enhance the interior.

• Controllable, low-carbon and high-lux lighting for a range of activities.

• A storage room for furniture and equipment, as well as a loft space within a section of the pitched roof, for additional storage.

• Two low-water usage toilets with disabled access and baby-changing facilities.

• An accessible entrance with a covered shelter.

• A wall for audio visual presentations with power sockets and connections to enable a range of multimedia devices.

• Loops for locking bicycles. Shelter for parking mobility scooters.

• Access for one vehicle to park alongside the building for unloading purposes.

• All areas for public use will be accessible for all, and we will make the kitchen as user-friendly as possible.

 

A full planning application will be submitted soon, and will be available for the public to see.

 

The Old Blue Box

Our proposed new Blue Box Centre

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Our Story:

 

Blue Box Belper became a charity in May 2018, following its initial formation by several residents as a constituted community group in 2012. The aims of the original group were to build the capacity for activities for children and young people on the Parks Estate, hosted from the original Blue Box building. However, since an arson attack in August 2014 resulted in the original Blue Box being demolished in 2015, Blue Box Belper began to develop plans for a new Community Centre, which would serve the needs of the whole community.

 

Following a successful Community Meeting on 23rd May 2016, a new Committee was formed, and substantive progress began to be made. 4 working sub-groups have been developed to progress some specific tasks. These sub-groups include a mixture of committee members and residents with specific skills, and cover the following projects:

a) building project;  b) community activities;  c) fundraising;  d) media and communications

 

Whilst focus has been on developing the building project, Blue Box Belper has also been developing community activities and initiatives, in order to increase community engagement ahead of the new Community Centre. These activities will then transfer to the new Community Centre once it is built. These initiatives have included:

 

a.  Supporting the ongoing youth provision through securing funding (e.g. from Public Health) for regular sports provision and activities for vulnerable young people around healthy lifestyle education.

b.  Cuppa Cake Chat has been running for one year, which is a monthly social gathering for older residents, hosted from the Belper Early Years Centre, where capacity is now being reached.

c.  Chair-obics is now hosted weekly for residents, again from the Belper Early Years Centre, where capacity is now being reached.

d.  A Community Newsletter is produced every quarter to update residents on local activities and progress with the Blue Box project.

e.  Fundraising Activities, especially those involving the youth group happen regularly, including bag packing, quiz nights and awareness raising at local events.

f.   Supporting local providers active on the Parks Estate, such as ongoing support for Derbyshire County Council’s youth provision, especially their summer holiday programme. In addition, supporting local art provider Fleet Arts, with their summer activities on the Parks Estate.

g.  Following an initial consultation process, we continue to consult regularly with residents on the proposal of a new facility, through questionnaires and meetings, as well as lots of positive conversations with residents during our Annual Community Fun Days.

h.  A robust Business Plan was developed in October 2016, and following successfully becoming a charity, this is now being updated. It outlines how the new Community Centre will operate sustainably once built.

i.  Significant funds (over £40,000) have already been secured towards the building and further grants have been identified, and will be applied for, once a lease agreement is agreed with Amber Valley Borough Council and planning permission has been granted. Funding support has so far been secured from local councils, including £25,000 from Belper Town Council and £6,000 from Derbyshire County Council, as well as £9,000 through general fundraising.

 

 

The proposed new Blue Box:

 

The new community facility building will be available for use by the whole community. Having such a space will have a hugely positive impact on the Parks Estate enabling residents to have somewhere to gather. It will need to be a multi-use space for a variety of different community groups and purposes, in order to be sustainable long term. The space will be accessible for everyone and therefore have good disabled access and provision too. There also needs to be good storage within the building for different furniture and equipment. The building will also have the capacity to prepare and serve simple food and drinks.

The building itself will find a balance between its aesthetics, security, durability, energy efficiency, accessibility and of course be cost effective to build. The design reflects the current and future anticipated needs of users and to diversify income-generation options. The design will seek to have the lowest cost approach that delivers long-term sustainability and comfort and practicality to users. It will be a secure, safe and pleasant environment, with minimal bills, carbon footprint and maintenance costs by using good design, modern systems and simple measures.

 

The proposal is for the Community Centre is to provide:

• One main activity room, which can accommodate 50-70 people depending on configuration.

• A kitchen (4.2m x 4.2m) that allows sufficient catering capacity for a community café, refreshments and basic cookery lessons. It will include a large cooker and sink, alongside basic equipment as well as adequate storage for kitchenware and individual groups’ items.

• Use of natural daylight through a pitched butterfly roof to improve aesthetics, reduce energy and carbon, and enhance the interior.

• Controllable, low-carbon and high-lux lighting for a range of activities.

• A storage room for furniture and equipment, as well as a loft space within a section of the pitched roof, for additional storage.

• Two low-water usage toilets with disabled access and baby-changing facilities.

• An accessible entrance with a covered shelter.

• A wall for audio visual presentations with power sockets and connections to enable a range of multimedia devices.

• Loops for locking bicycles. Shelter for parking mobility scooters.

• Access for one vehicle to park alongside the building for unloading purposes.

• All areas for public use will be accessible for all, and we will make the kitchen as user-friendly as possible.

 

A full planning application will be submitted soon, and will be available for the public to see.