Posted: Sun 16th Jun 2024

Call for local residents to help shape Rivertown Church’s ambitious plans for new community hub

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Rivertown United Reformed Church (URC) is reaching out to the local community to gather input for its ambitious building project aimed at creating a vibrant community hub.

The church, located on Chester Road West in Shotton, will host a consultation event on June 25th, offering two sessions from 3-5pm and 6-8pm, with free refreshments available for all attendees.

The project aims to enhance accessibility and expand the range of community activities offered by the church.

The consultation seeks to gather feedback on what facilities and activities residents of Shotton and Deeside would find most beneficial.

“We want to throw our doors open wide to people and community groups,” said Chris Byrne, an Elder at Rivertown URC and Project Lead.

“Of course we’re open on Sundays for worship, but we’re also open every weekday.”

“Our aim is to create a facility Deeside will be proud of, a ‘one stop shop’ where you can go and find a range of activities, entertainment, and support.” Chris said.

Rivertown URC secured planning permission for the project last year, with construction set to commence in the autumn and completion anticipated by Christmas 2025. The church is keen to ensure that the new facilities align with the needs and desires of the community.

“We really want to put our building to good use,” Chris continued.

“We will not serve the community well if we don’t listen to their needs. We could really use further insight from the residents of Shotton and Deeside about what their needs are and look at how Rivertown can help deliver that.”

Previous consultations have already generated a range of ideas, including a community cinema, bingo, mental health support, and advice services.

The architects are currently in the detailed planning and costing stage, while the project team is working on securing grant funding and maintaining community engagement.

“We’re already collaborating closely with Flintshire County Council, Theatre Clwyd, Coleg Cambria, and Public Health Wales, along with third sector groups that use our building, to consider what may be included in a weekly programme of activities,” Chris added.

Rivertown URC has a longstanding tradition of community support, and this project aims to continue that legacy.

The overall cost of the project is estimated at £2 million, with over £800,000 already secured, contingent on raising the remaining funds.

Additionally, the plans include measures to reduce the building’s carbon footprint, ensuring that the new hub is both community-focused and environmentally responsible.

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