Hillsborough Park dementia-friendly café gets initial £50,000 fundingPosted by: Ashley Birch
A digital image of the proposed, renovated Old Coach House
Campaigners hoping to revive Hillsborough Park’s listed former Coach House as a dementia-friendly older people’s centre and cafe are celebrating after initial bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund was granted today
The planned redevelopment of a derelict listed building in Hillsborough Park moved one step closer today, after it was announced the project has received initial National Lottery support of £50,000.
It means the abandoned coach house, last used as a munitions store during the Second World War, could be open for use by the whole community by the end of 2020.
Age UK Sheffield says the development funding of £49,700 will enable the charity to progress plans and apply for a full National Lottery Grant later this year. A fundraising campaign is already under way.
The centre, behind Hillsborough Library and adjoining the Park’s attractive walled garden, would host dementia-friendly group activities such as singing and dancing, as well as classroom-based activities and educational classes such as digital drop-ins.
The community café could be open to thousands of local park visitors, including dog-walkers, children’s playground users, and park runners.
There is currently no dedicated older people’s activity centre in Sheffield. Age UK Sheffield is particularly interested in developing inter-generational learning opportunities and concepts such as a “Nana’s Cafe”, with socially-isolated older people being brought to together to cook for other people.
Age UK Sheffield Chief Executive, Steve Chu, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news. Thanks to National Lottery players we have a real opportunity to develop The Old Coach House into a thriving community venue for older people in Sheffield and local people in Hillsborough. Importantly, through this project, we can bring back into use a derelict listed building that would otherwise soon be lost.”
Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “Hillsborough park is already one of our absolute jewels and plays host to a year-round calendar of events, activities and social occasions. This is a fantastic project which will help thousands of people across the city and their carers and friends, giving them dignity and support and ensuring they can tackle dementia together in a constructive and compassionate way.
“What’s more, this facility will provide vital café and toilet facilities at one of our city’s most beautiful and popular parks. We look forward to working with Age UK Sheffield, the Friends of Hillsborough Park and other community groups to help these plans develop further.”