Local people are driving forward improvements to facilities at Horfield Common after responsibility for their management moved to the Ardagh Community Trust.
Providing a permanent year-round café and clean, properly managed toilets are among initial site projects being led by the Trust, which was established two years ago by the Friends of Horfield Common, to develop plans for regeneration of the Ardagh site.
As a Bristol City Council tenant, the Trust will take responsibility for day-to-day issues previously overseen by the council’s Parks department, allowing a fresh community management approach by local volunteers. The Trust will also seek external funding and investment in the Ardagh site.
Under the terms of a Community Asset Transfer (CAT), management of public land and buildings moves from an owner to a community group for ‘social, economic or environmental benefit.’
The Ardagh move is the culmination of a two-year project involving the Mayor’s office, deputy mayor Cllr Asher Craig, together with the involvement of ward councillors.
Among the other facilities available at Horfield Common are dog-free play areas, tennis courts, a bowling green, wildlife pond and measured 500m, 1km and 5km routes for walking or running.
Cllr Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Communities, Equalities and Public Health, said: “We welcome the Ardagh Community Trust taking over responsibility for the day-to-day management of the sports facilities at Horfield Common and are delighted to see local people involved in the running of the site in this way.
“Bristol City Council understands the important role sport and general activity play in both physical and mental health and well-being and is committed to ensuring people get involved, by being open to different ideas on providing opportunities for all, including enabling the work of community groups.
Steve Strong, Chair of Trustees for the Ardagh Community Trust, said: "After years of negotiations we are delighted that we have succeeded in getting a lease which will allow us to make the Ardagh into a vibrant, inclusive, community-led centre in the years to come.
“We welcome everyone to get involved by using the centre or by volunteering to help us with our work."