The Mill Road Depot Opportunity

There is going to be substantial community space on the Mill Road Depot site. Please go to the consultation on Thursday. We have had discussions with the city council and CIP.
PACT wants to see a true Community Centre. However, we keep seeing the role of a “community centre” reduced to rented space and deals and conditions. We do need better rented space – the borrowed spaces locally lack things like storage and access to open space and so we miss out. But that is only part of the story – Petersfield is isolated, surrounded by the railway and the city centre, inside the river; it’s under pressure constantly, at the geographic centre of Cambridge but a conservation area of housing; much of the housing stock is officially deprived – small, dense, old – as well as having economic “pockets of deprivation”; its population is incredibly diverse; and it’s now had a baby boom and the children are staying put, not moving out of the area as before. We need a Community Centre – with those capital letters. We need a common space that is everyone’s. We need the silly teenage youth clubs that I look back on with embarassment; we need the toddler groups open to anyone; we need robust rooms that can be freely used and can be a hub for this community.
We can’t gamble again on another organization providing this. We need a true Community Centre which can’t be lost due to another organization having different long term priorities – as keeps happening, because of the nature and position of Petersfield.
Please go to the Mill Road Depot consultation at 3-8pm on Thursday at Bharat Bhavan, the old Mill Road Library, and tell them so.
John, Chair, PACT.