The Greenway Boys School
Between 1955 and 1984, the current Greenway Centre site was actually The Greenway Boys School. The school was closed due to falling numbers but in 1985 the building was saved from vandalism by residents and used as a community resource. In 1988, Bristol City Council (via a sixty year lease) acquired the site from Avon County Council to further develop the premises as a community project to include a sports and leisure facility.
The Greenway Centre Trust
In 1990, it was recommended that the running of the Greenway Centre should be undertaken by a Community Development Trust and Bristol City Council set in motion plans to establish the Greenway Centre Trust in May 1991. The Trust was initially given a two year lease during which time the Trust had to organise itself to take on the development role; work with the City Officers to put together a Business Plan for presentation to Council and finally prove it could follow the objectives set. It would also need to aim towards a greater degree of financial self-sufficiency.
The Greenway Centre Trust was formed on 23rd March 1992; incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee on 1st April 1992 and was registered as a charity on 10th April 1992 to:
- Promote the benefit of the residents of Southmead and the neighbourhood without distinction of sex or of political, religious or other opinions by association the local authorities, voluntary organisations and inhabitants in a common effort to advance education and to provide facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and leisure time occupation with the object of improving the conditions of life for the said inhabitants.
2. Establish or to secure the establishment of a community centre and to maintain and manage, or to co-operate with any local authority in the maintenance and management of such a centre for activities promoted by the association and its constituent bodies.
A Management Agreement was drawn up by the City Council and under that Agreement the Trust agreed to appoint its own Officer and manage the Greenway Centre with the Councils (Avon and Bristol) represented on its Management Committee. It was anticipated that from April 1994 the Trust should be self governing with the City Council continuing to offer support, although reducing its contribution.
Southmead Development Trust
In early 1995, an initiative to improve the management of the Greenway Centre and to maximise local use and involvement was put forward and an interim steering committee of local residents and city councillors was established on 1st April 1995 with a remit to manage the centre and establish a locally elected Development Trust. Southmead residents were invited to stand for election to form the Board of Trustees and a ward wide election was held in March 1996.
Southmead Development Trust was formed on 1st April 1995; incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee on 10th April 1995 and was registered as a charity on 21st March 1997. The Trust formally took over the management and assets of the Greenway Centre.
The current objects for which the Charity is established are:
1. The promotion for the public benefit of urban regeneration in areas of social and economic deprivation, and in particular in the ward of Southmead, Bristol, by all of the following means:
a. The relief of poverty.
b. The provision of recreational facilities for the public at large or those who by reason of their youth, age, infirmity or disablement, poverty or social and economic circumstances, have need of such facilities.
c. The creation of training and employment opportunities by the provision of workspace and buildings for use on favourable terms.
2. To advance the education of the public through the provision of training courses.
3. To develop the capacity and skills of the members of the socially and economically disadvantaged community of the Southmead ward in Bristol in such a way that they are better able to identify, help meet their needs and to participate more fully in society.
Funding for the Trust initially came from Bristol City Council. In 1996/97 this amounted to a grant of £95,000; in 1997/8 £89,000 and 1998/99 £82,000. From 1999/00 onwards the Trust has been self sufficient through the procurement of grant aid to run specific projects; funded contracts to deliver against specific service level agreements; direct trading earned income and general fundraising.
In 2006, Southmead Development Trust signed a new 125 year lease with Bristol City Council for the Greenway Centre site and continues to operate the Greenway Centre.