Crowds visited GreenSquare's new state-of-the-art community facilities in Cowley, Oxford, on 4 June when The Venue@Cowley opened its doors for the first time.
Located on the ground floor of a development of 40 new apartments that GreenSquare has built on Barns Road, known as Barns Place, the new community facilities comprise four meeting rooms with internet access, a modern kitchen, and garden – and are set to be a fantastic meeting place and base for local people at the heart of the community.
At the event, The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Mohammed Altaf-Khan joined GreenSquare’s Board Chair Hilary Gardner to cut the ribbon to declare The Venue@Cowley officially open.
Hilary Gardner said: “GreenSquare is excited and proud that the Barns Place development is completing this summer - part of our partnership with Oxford City Council for the development of 108 new homes and community facilities here in Cowley and at Northway.
“The Emmaus furniture recycling charity shop and workshop has recently moved from Northway to its great new base here on Barns Road – and residents will soon be moving into the 40 apartments for sale and shared ownership.
“But today is all about The Venue@Cowley. This is going to be a fantastic meeting place and base for local people to enjoy a range of social, cultural and educational activities at the heart of the community. It's ideal for all sorts of meetings and conferences, learning and exercise classes, community activities and parties, and we’re sure it’s going be very popular.”
She paid tribute to all those involved in helping get the The Venue@Cowley built – including architects AHMM and contractors Feltham Construction – and to those ensuring its success in the months and year ahead, including the City Council ward councillors Christine Simm and David Henwood and County Councillor John Sanders, who are all part of the Venue@Cowley Stakeholders Group.
Before the ribbon was cut, those gathered were also treated to a special performance by the Leys CDI and Ark T Community Singing Group and had the chance to talk to representatives from Ark T, Emmaus, Workers' Educational Association, Oxford City Council's recycling team, and the Museum of Oxford.
Also at the event, there was a presentation ceremony for those nominated as a Cowley Hero - a campaign that's been led by Oxford City Councillor for Cowley, David Henwood, to find unsung heroes in the local community who have made a difference to the lives of residents living in the area.
Richard Grant, GreenSquare’s Marketing and Community Development Worker for The Venue@Cowley, said: "We were delighted that many local people came along to help us celebrate our official opening. Everyone seems to be really excited to have new community facilities right here in the heart of Cowley.”
The 40 apartments in the development comprise 20 homes for outright sale and 20 for shared ownership, the majority of which have already been reserved. Residents will begin moving in at the end of the month.
Visit www.venuecowley.co.uk for bookings and to find out more about room capacities, layouts, hire charges and availability. And to find out more about the apartments at Barns Place, visit www.greensquarehomes.com/barnsplace.