chopwell’s enterprise and welfare centre
Chopwell Regeneration Group are the new leasehold owners of The Bank.
We are in the process of refurbishing the building and plan to open in October 2021.
The Bank will be a warm and welcoming place to visit in the heart of Chopwell. The building will provide a central place for our community to meet, take part in activities and access services. There will be job opportunities and a lot of training courses run in the building. There will be a community cafe open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays along with a community fridge. There will be rentable rooms for small businesses and artists which will provide income to maintain the building. If permitted there will also be hot desks available to rent by the day too.
The Bank will be an important link between the main street in Chopwell, Chopwell Park’s new pump track and Chopwell Woods by providing cyclist and dog friendly facilities, bringing much needed income and visitors into the centre of the village.
Our video about the project has been made by Chopwell based business Fleetfoot Studios with funding from the Ballinger Trust.
Our vision: A community working together, local people succeeding, a village that thrives.
What’s happened so far?
Gateshead Council have leased the former Lloyds Bank building on Derwent Street to the Chopwell Regeneration Group for 35 years for free, so we can bring the building back into community use. We have raised £234,000 to make the building safe and usable so we can go ahead with all the plans. We are still fundraising as we need additional funding for equipment.
The Bank will become a busy enterprise and welfare centre, a base and focus for the long-term regeneration of Chopwell. We will continue to work closely with Chopwell Community Centre to ensure that everything we provide complements and supports the services provided from there. The Bank will have its own distinct identity because:
- It will be an enterprise centre, providing training, mentoring and support for start-up and small businesses;
- Residents can meet at the cafe and get involved in activities taking place there;
- There will be regular events including a Men’s Pie Club, computer coding and pizza events for young people, film nights and regular restaurant nights;
- Job and training opportunities will be available from when we open.
- Office and studio space will be available to rent, including IT facilities, at competitive rates.
- We will encourage local artists and craftspeople to display and sell their work;
- It will be a base and meeting space for the Regeneration Group, and be an information point for village activities;
- The building will support the Pump Track development by providing information for cyclists and general tourists, cycle storage facilities for visitors and refreshments;
- As well as all of that it will provide a focal point for local heritage displays.
- The building will be a centre where the community together can tackle some of the key issues facing our village, such as food poverty, social isolation, unemployment and anti-social behaviour and providing for and supporting those most in need.
With its prime location at the heart of the village, The Bank is in a perfect position to consider and support a wide range of ideas and help us work as a community to make Chopwell an even better place to live – for current residents and for future generations.
Thank you to everyone who has funded The Bank project so far:
Grant providers:- North East Local Enterprise Partnership- National Lottery- Garfield Weston Foundation- Sir James Knott Foundation- Plunkett Foundation – Bright Ideas Fund- Tyne & Wear Community Foundation – Joicey Trust- Catherine Cookson Foundation – LGA Foundation- Gateshead CIL- EDF Boundary Farm Lane Wind Farm Community Benefits Fund- Rothley Trust- Ballinger Trust
Others people to thank:- Everyone in the community who has made donations or helped and supported us with our various fundraising events including The Bank Job and Around the World in 80 days fundraising challenges, our pop-up food events and our Christmas card sales. – Gateshead Council for providing the building for free.- Gleeson Homes for donating building materials.- Melissa Kirby Design – Fleetfoot Studios- the Pop-up team
What’s happening next
We have to raise more money to be able to get work started and the majority of the funds will need to come from grants. If anyone knows of good sources of funding, or is willing to organise fundraising events please do get in touch with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click to read our business plan.