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New plans for Crayford Manor House

14 February 2017; Initial discussions have been held informally between the Council, BVSC and a small number of third sector groups about a proposition to turn Crayford Manor House into a Voluntary Sector Hub.

News release

The idea, which originally emerged when Tesco were considering development of the former Civic Offices site, is to open up a wider discussion to test whether there is sufficient interest across the sector to establish a viable Hub anchored by Bexley Voluntary Service Council (BVSC).

Establishing a hub in Bexley would mean residents would be able to access support from key charities and community organisations in one place, as well as helping organisations share back-office functions.

Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Growth, Cllr Linda Bailey said; "These are very early days and there is a lot of work still to be done but it is a very interesting proposal. We will be looking to see if there is enough interest to secure a sustainable project with a core group acting as pioneers who would provide a new business model that other charities can join.

Having a thriving, vibrant and well supported voluntary sector in Bexley is a key priority for the Council and it would be great if they could create an active community hub for our residents. Manor House, with its easy accessibility for visitors and volunteers, seems a perfect choice. I look forward to seeing more in depth work on this as the project progresses."

Chief Executive of BVSC, Sakthi Suriyaprakasam, said: "We have been exploring the idea of a hub that can house our voluntary and community sector organisations for some time. We know that together we can offer more coordinated support and services to residents and create a lively centre for community engagement. Crayford Manor House, with its local history and beautiful surroundings, also offers great opportunities to develop indoor and outdoor activities that will enable local people to be more actively involved in their community."

The early vision includes an idea to bring together in one place organisations who already work closely together to provide a seamless integrated pathway to refer people for voluntary and statutory support services. This model has the potential to greatly enhance our resident's experience ultimately providing a more positive and timely response for people needing or offering support while at the same time bringing a much loved local building back to life.

Any plans for the site will not impact on the activity of the bowls club that is located adjacent to the site.

An engagement programme will be announced in coming weeks with a view to developing a business case by the Autumn. 

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