Rob Gilbert is the committee chair of Stirchley Stores, the co-operative on Pershore Road that supplies ethical, affordable and local food. Stirchley Stores wants to move into the Stirchley Baths community hub. Here, Rob explains why the Heritage Lottery decision due very soon has to be a ‘yes’ for Stirchley…
“The Stirchley Baths community hub is the ideal place for Stirchley Stores. Sustainability and community are at the heart of Stirchley Stores, helping people contribute to the rejuvenation of their High Street. These values are what the community hub project is all about too.
We need a new premises because Loaf – our neighbour in Pershore Road – is looking to expand. We currently use the premises rent-free in exchange for selling their bread and the consensus among our members is that Stirchley Baths is the ideal location for us. It’s a good-value plan and will help us to be even more connected to the local community.
We’re growing too. We’re mostly run by volunteers, although we pay a volunteer co-ordinator and we’re about to take on our first paid worker in the shop too. Moving into the community hub will help us to take Stirchley Stores to the next stage.
The Stirchley Baths community hub will be a real focal point for the whole Stirchley community, enabling more people to connect and get things done for the good of the village. There will be a cafe in there, a cinema, meeting rooms, events – it will be a huge boost for the whole village and we’re really keen to be a part of it.”
The decision from HLF is expected very soon. Please tell us why it *has* to be a ‘yes’ by: