Ravenscliffe Estate, Bradford, Yorkshire, UK
Ravenscliffe Community Association
Community-led planning, design and construction of a multi-purpose community centre, tackling social exclusion and isolation and ensuring the full and meaningful involvement of residents at all stages of the planning and design process. Demonstrates the value of comprehensive technical aid.
|Intense community planning activity
Events, workshops, meetings, open house events, exhibitions.
|Moderate community planning activity
Surveys, consultation periods.
|Low level community planning activity
Preparation, revising documents, survey analysis, design work
|Key points in community planning process
Formation of organizations or partnerships, launch of initiatives, project completion.
|Other relevant events and activities
Local election, local plan adoption, tendering.
|Nothing much happening
Waiting, breathing spaces
Nov Consultation - Planning for real
- Planning for Real exercise (as described in the Methods A-Z). Organised by Community Development Worker who had used the technique previously.
- Giant 3D model of the estate made by local school children and used to gather over 1,000 suggestions from over 250 local residents.
- 80 people then turned these ideas into an action plan to be delivered by 8 issue-based working groups.
- Action plan identified a clear need for a community facility to bring much needed services onto the estate.
- Ravenscliffe Community Association (RCA) supported by the Ravenscliffe Community Development Project (RCDA) start the long process of creating a community facility.
- Glass-House, looking for suitable projects to develop their community-led design service, are put in touch with the RCA by Bradford City Council.
- Following a visit to the estate and a meeting with local residents, Glass-House offers a free design support service consisting of training courses, a small grants scheme, and most importantly, access to an independent professional project advisor.
- Brief finalized.
- Specialist funding consultant appointed by RCA to help explore funding opportunities for the project.
- Phase 1, Capital Fundraising: Jan 2003 – Oct 2003
- Phase 2, Revenue Fundraising: Aug 2003 – May 2004
- 8 members of RCA and the Community Development Worker attend Glass-House residential training course “Buildings by Design”. This enables the group to understand the role of an architect and other members of the design team. The group use the course to prepare their selection process for the design team.
- Glass-House advisor helps the group draw up an advert for Building Design magazine calling for expressions of interest from architects throughout the UK.
- RCA directors shortlist 5 practices which are invited for interview.
- Interviews carried out by RCA with support from the Community Development Worker and Glasshouse Advisor.
- Bauman Lyons Architects (BLA) from Leeds appointed.
Dec Initial design
- Architects prepare outline design based on ideas from the Steering Committee.
- Application made for outline planning permission
Feb Consultation on design
- Outline design tested on wider community at a special consultation event. Architects also gathered people’s views on materials and how the building should feel.
- Methods used included models, opinion boards, questionnaires and canvas cards.
- By architects. Incorporating results of consultation.
- Costings prepared by Quantity Surveyor – Bernard Williams Associates.
- Site survey by Buro Happold Engineers.
- Final design presented to RCA and other project stakeholders.
- Final decisions taken on room layout, finishes and details (like plug and data sockets).
Detailed scheme design
- Detailed drawings prepared by architects.
- Detailed planning applications submitted.
- Tender documents drawn up. Include requirement to employ local labour.
- 6 construction firms invited to tender.
- To Iwins Ltd, a Leeds based firm. All the tenders come in significantly over budget. Iwins are cheapest but still £200,000 above budget. RCA and Iwins agree cost reductions to fit available budget (eg external landscaping removed from contract).
- Construction team assembled by Iwins
- Main contract works
- Building occupied
- The Ravenscliffe area is a large pre 1920's housing estate on the edge of Bradford. There are good size houses with generous gardens on tree-lined streets. But Ravenscliffe has its fair share of problems. There are empty properties, school closures, anti-social behaviour and the aftermath of racial disturbances in 2001
- In recent years, Government funding has been available for education and employment projects, neighbourhood wardens have been introduced and a new local housing trust has been set up.
- The Ravenscliffe Community Association decided to lead a project to build a new multi-purpose community centre. The idea came from a consultation exercise involving 250 residents in 2001. People wanted a facility that could be used by children, families and older people as well as offer health care; they wanted 'a place where people could gather'.
- The Association had most of the ingredients for a successful project: an idea, a site, a group of committed residents, some funding opportunities and the support of the Ravenscliffe Community Development Project. But the group had to develop designs for the building, secure funding for construction and produce a viable business plan for the long term use of the building. No one in the Association had done anything like this before.
- Contact was made with the national Glass-House Community Led Design agency which helped the Association through the design and construction process.
- Provision of a variety of appropriate technical and professional services to guide the local Association through the entire design process
- Planning for Real Consultation involving 250 local residents
- Construction of an attractive and functional multi use centre including a Nursery and Creche. Considerable use of green technologies; for instance solar panels on the roof.
- The new facility is a catalyst for change in the neighbourhood and featured on the Community TV Channel as an exemplar community project. After the first year of operation The Gateway had over 300 users per week and had become a real focal point for the Estate.
- Local people were employed in the construction as builders and on site security. Perhaps as a result, there was no theft on site.
- Employment of five local people within the completed centre.
Outcomes - Shortcomings
- Burnout of volunteers and the Community Development Worker
- Underestimation of the work involved in moving in and getting the Centre up and running. (The RCA was so focused on the goal of getting the centre built that when this was finally achieved people felt flat for a few weeks.)
Ravenscliffe Community Association (RCA)
Initiate and manage project from start to finish
Ravenscliffe Community Development Project (RCDP)
Community development support. Employed a Community Development Worker and an admin assistant, both based on the estate.
Performed project management role on behalf of the RCA
The Glass-House Community Led Design
Technical support coordination
www.theglasshouse.org.uk (see Special Features)
Dan Jones acted as The Glass-House project advisor.
Bauman Lyons Architects, Leeds
A Sense of Place
Facilitated partnership development.
Delivered some Glass-House Training courses
Funding and resources
- The Association successfully secured all £1.65 million that the Renewal Centre cost to build.
- The estate falls within the Newlands Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) UK government regeneration initiative which part funded the project with a grant of £222,000.
- Newlands SRB also provided funding for a Community Development Worker to provide project management support to the RCA throughout the planning and implementation process.
- Successful partnership forged with Sure Start UK government agency which contributed £1 million in exchange for facilities for a childrens centre (office accommodation for the Sure Start team and a 35-place nursery).
- Capital Funding summary:
Newlands SRB - £229,000 (£200k Capital, 9k Development funding);
Community Fund (later Big Lottery) - £200,000;
Bradford Council - £150,000;
The Energy Saving Trust - £48,000;
Other Charitable Trusts (?);
Sure Start £1,000,000.
- Business Planning identified several revenue funding opportunities. The final breakdown was built around European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Objective 2 funding matched with support from Neighbourhood Renewal, Sure Start and Bradford Council.
- Funding secured enabled the RCA to employ a staff team of it’s own to help run the Centre for the first 3 years
- Revenue funding summary:
ERDF Objective 2 - £128,000;
Neighbourhood Renewal Fund - £70,000;
Sure Start - £30,000 per year;
Bradford Council - £33,500 per year.
New building, community facility £427,500
New building, Sure Start facility £552,500
Renewable energy works £40,000
Central spine path £30,000
Professional fees £172,000
Statutory fees £7,810
Legal Fees and VAT advice £ 3,500
Furniture £ 35,000
Telecoms and Data Instillations £ 7,000
VAT £ 42,000
Consultation Costs £10,000
Extra unforeseen costs £62,190
Total development costs £1,650,000
Role of Glass-House Community Led Design
The Glass-House Community Led Design provided the Ravenscliffe Community Association with a range of support and services. This included:
- Funding for a fun day to get feedback from residents about the renewal centre;
- Residential training on how to get involved in regeneration and how to design buildings;
- Tailored business planning and fundraising training;
- Study visit to a self-build community building in Nottingham;
- Ongoing help from a Glass-House advisor about technical aspects of the building process;
- Part funding of architects’ fees for a feasibility study.
Copyright The Gateway
Dover District Council planner Mike Ebbs (left).
Documents available in date order. Please click on the image or information below it to download and display pdfs
1 pages A4 195 KBThe Gateway project timetable, Ravenscliffe Community Association,.
"Exceptionally well organized"... with ..." exceptional tenant involvement, one of the best projects ever approved."The Community Fund Project Assessor
"There is an awareness now that local people have some control over things" ... and that ... "residents are a lot more active than in neighbouring communities."Ann Henderson, Chairperson, Ravenscliffe Community Association and local resident
JIan Kenning, Ravenscliffe Community Development Project
"Our group has benefited immensely from the support of Glass-House, they have been there to provide support and advice at key stages in the development of the Renewal Centre. Anyone who has ever been involved in developing a large community led capital project will understand that the breadth of issues that need to be tackled is immense and in a lot of cases quite technical. Having professional advisers on tap to help us understand these issues has been invaluable. It is very reassuring and empowering knowing that we have our own independent source of professional advice."
"They [The Glass-House] have not led this project at any stage. Nor should they. To do so would be un-empowering. Our community group remains in control of the project and is unquestionably in a far stronger position because of the support and guidance we have received from Glass-House."Ian Kenning - Ravenscliffe Community Development Project
2a Kingsway Place
Bradford BD10 0JR
For more Glass-House Community Led Design case studies see