27
Feb
/

Former Ashburton Park library to become community and education space

The former Ashburton Park library building will re-open this summer as a community space and an education base to support young people with medical or behaviour needs.

The Nisai Group has won the contract to lease and run the centre which will also include a hall and other space available to rent for parties and other events and a full-time cafe which will run from the buildings.

In partnership with Fit 2 Learn, a Croydon social enterprise, they will also provide services focussed on students with special educational needs and who face other barriers to learning.

The building has just been granted planning permission for renovation and extension works, and the council is looking to spend in excess of £1m bringing it up to modern standard before the opening in the summer.

Dhruv Patel, chief executive of Nisai Group, which was chosen from 22 bidders, said: “Ashburton Park is an exciting new venture for us.

“Together with our partners Croydon local authority and Fit 2 Learn, we hope to replicate the positive results we have achieved at our Hub in Nottingham and provide a comprehensive provision for local students.

“Additionally, we will also be offering skills training courses for adults. We intend to create a centre that will be a real asset to the local community.”

The selection panel included members of the Friends of Ashburton Park.

Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people, and learners, said: “It’s fantastic that as well as delivering facilities that all park users can enjoy we will also be creating a learning environment within which children with particular needs can be helped to reach their full potential.”

Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure, and sport, said: “We set out a promise to turn this beautiful, but neglected, old building into a vibrant community hub to benefit the local community – and we’re delivering on that promise.

“The council is now investing a significant sum of money to ensure the space is fully refurbished to a high standard so everyone who uses the park can enjoy the new facilities.”