A Short History of the Greenway Centre

Greenway Boys School

Between 1955 and 1984 the current Greenway Centre site was Greenway Boys School; the area once belonged to Greenway Farm.  The school was closed 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.

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 it had to organise itself to take on the development role which was to work with City Officers to put together a Business Plan to prove it could follow the objectives set.  It would also need to aim towards 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 with the following aims:

  1. 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; 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; it was 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.

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, and 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.