Construction work has now started on transforming the former park-keepers cottage at Witton Lakes into a multi- functional environmental community facility.
The new Witton Lakes Eco Hub will showcase and promote energy generation and efficiency, tackling fuel poverty, cultivating home-produce and the pursuit of outdoor activities.
Developed by Witton Lodge Community Association, the project, when complete in late Autumn, will provide a significant catalyst for tackling inequality and climate change in the local community whilst providing a much-needed community facility in the heart of Wyrley Birch.
Chief Officer, Afzal Hussain, said: “It’s been a tough year and we’re delighted to be onsite to bring this transformational project to fruition. The Association has a successful track record of physical and community regeneration where local residents play a leading role. The development of the Witton Lakes Eco Hub will continue this rich tradition, with the Friends of Witton Lakes amongst other local groups that are actively involved.”
A community asset transfer from Birmingham City Council, the project site is based within the popular Witton Lakes Park and directly serves the Wyrley Birch, Perry Common, Upper Witton and Stockland Green neighbourhoods.
The project is made possible with grant funding from The National Lottery and significant capital investment from Witton Lodge Community Association.
“This new facility will create opportunities for volunteering, education and training, as well as a range of health, wellbeing and physical activities associated with the outdoors, which will be much needed as we emerge from the pandemic,” adds Afzal.
“With the Commonwealth Games being hosted nearby, the Hub will be fully operational leading up to the Games. We anticipate playing an important role in promoting physical activities for all ages and abilities, leading up to and beyond the Games.”
The Eco Hub will be a multi-functional facility combining:
- Environmental Sustainability Showcase – support people to reduce their fuel costs and improve their knowledge of and interest in the environment, food-production and growing and sustainable, healthy living.
- Outdoor Activities Base – to promote physical and mental wellbeing through the wider use of Witton Lakes Park and the surrounding open spaces, leading up to and beyond the Commonwealth Games.
- Education Centre – supporting schools (and the local community) to increase their knowledge of the environment in order to pursue sustainable, healthy lifestyles while also increasing levels of educational achievement connected to curriculum-based programmes.
- Skills and Volunteering – facilitation through the provision of employment, business, training and volunteering opportunities across a range of services, including the community cafe,
- Food & Horticulture – The Velvet Orchard situated in the grounds provides a unique opportunity to plant, grow, cultivate and cook onsite. Produce is also shared with local foodbanks.
- Connecting Communities – greater social cohesion as residents from all backgrounds work, learn, play and socialise together in a common community–owned facility.
If you would like more information on the new Eco Hub please call 0121 382 1930 or visit www.wittonlodge.org.uk