Plans to transform former club unveiled

Plans to transform a former Wolverhampton youth club into a community hub and church have been unveiled.

Windmill Community Church, a registered charity, is developing the proposals to restore the club on Henwood Road in Compton.

The City of Wolverhampton Council-owned building has been empty since September 2019 and the church has approached the council with its plans.

Windmill Community Church has previously raised funds and transformed the St Thomas Church building in Finchfield into a community venue.

A planning application is being drawn up and a business case will be submitted to the council following consultation with local residents. If the proposals are approved, the charity will launch a fundraising campaign for the Henwood Road building.

Plans include a complete internal and external restoration, car parking and landscaping to provide a place where local people can meet.

Members of the church are currently consulting with local residents and established groups to consider a range of activities which can benefit the community.

Terry Wilkes, church leader at Windmill Community Church, said: “When we started planning the work in Finchfield, we listened to the community and asked them what they would like. It might be that people living in Compton would like something similar, but we really want to encourage them to let us know.

“In Finchfield we run parent and toddler sessions, a community coffee bar, craft group, youth groups, a community choir, parenting courses, life groups and Sunday Worship.

“We’re also part of the City-wide Social Prescribing network which aims to combat loneliness and we hope to build on this work to benefit communities in both Finchfield and Compton.”

City of Wolverhampton Council’s Jacqueline Sweetman, said: “We are very happy to explore ways in which surplus council-owned buildings can be used by the local community.

“I would encourage anyone living near the club to share their thoughts on the kind of activities and events they would like to see there.

“This feedback will be very useful for the council to consider when looking at this application.”

If permission is granted, the council is looking to issue a 99-year long lease for the use of the building for a peppercorn rent, subject to cabinet approval. The church will then take on responsibility for the renovation and running of the building.

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