Community learning centre opens in former Queensbury bank

Community learning centre opens in former Queensbury bank

Exterior of the Queensbury Community Centre.

Exterior of the Queensbury Community Centre.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford Cllr Mike Gibbons and the Lady Mayoress Elizabeth Sharp at the opening of the Queensbury Community Centre with PCSO Stephanie Podson (left) and Alyx Rhodes sitting at the sewing machine

Paul Cromie with the Lord Mayor of Bradford Cllr Mike Gibbons and the Lady Mayoress Elizabeth Sharp at the opening of the Queensbury Community Centre.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford Cllr Mike Gibbons and the Lady Mayoress Elizabeth Sharp at the opening of the Queensbury Community Centre with PCSO Stephanie Podson (left) and Alyx Rhodes sitting at the sewing machine

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

A REFURBISHED "all singing all dancing" community learning centre in Queensbury marked its first day with a bumper event yesterday.

The £90,000 project has seen a former NatWest bank, on High Street in the village, transformed into a new home for Queensbury Community Programme (QCP).

The event, which featured six hours of activities, also marked the 30th anniversary of the QCP, a non-profit group which provides learning options for adults and children in Bradford district.

Kathryn Halford, development manager of the QCP, said the new home was "all singing all dancing" and meant the days of using rooms in Victoria Hall, schools and church halls were over.

On the new building, she said: "It is fabulous now. It is just really good - and it is right on the main street.

"Since moving the provision to the new venue on the High Street it has raised our profile tremendously and locals drop in to see what's on. They are surprised to see such a wide variety of classes on offer."

On the QCP's nomadic existence, Mrs Halford said: "It became a bit frantic for us. We have been looking for a venue for about eight or nine years. We can develop a little bit more now."

QCP first moved into the building last year and did some initial refurbishments on the ground floor, before receiving grants to complete work on the upstairs in time for yesterday's event.

The bank building was bought by Queensbury councillor Paul Cromie (Ind) in 2012, who is renting it to QCP at a reduced rate. Money for the refurbishment project came from WREN (£50,000) and Bradford South Area Co-ordinators' Office ward funding (£10,000). The programme, which offers classes on sewing, guitar-playing, French and creative writing, to name a few, also raised some money itself.

Councillor Michael Walls (Queensbury, Con), chairman of directors at QCP, said: "Over the last year, myself, Cllr Paul Cromie, treasurer Martin Walker, and Kathryn Halford have devoted much time and effort to overcome the obstacles involved in obtaining funding to convert and refurbish the former NatWest Bank building for use as our headquarters and centre of learning and activities.

"Thanks to WREN and Bradford Council, especially Bradford South Area Panel and its officers, we are now able to officially open the centre, which provides a high-profile centre for the community of Queensbury in the high street."

The Lord Mayor of Bradford Cllr Mike Gibbons and Lady Mayoress Elizabeth Sharp officially opened the centre yesterday. The launch event featured an art exhibition, a showcase of students' work, afternoon tea, a chance to meet the QCP team, details of classes for 2014/15 and the opportunity to enrol on them.

The venue now houses a large craft/meeting room, office, cafe and an ICT suite for the numerous computer classes on offer for all ages and abilities. Its refurbishment has been completed in time for the new academic year’s learning programme.

Comments (1)

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1:49pm Thu 4 Sep 14

36a says...

Don't we have a perfectly good under utilised Victoria Hall in Queensbury that would have saved the rate payers 60k, not forgetting the rent conveniently paid to a councillor
Don't we have a perfectly good under utilised Victoria Hall in Queensbury that would have saved the rate payers 60k, not forgetting the rent conveniently paid to a councillor 36a
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