A long-standing community centre now has a much ‘warmer and welcoming’ appearance following the installation of a much-needed security fence at the site.
Ladybrook Community Centre, on Ladybrook Lane, Mansfield has been at the heart of the close-knit neighbourhood for more than half a century but in recent years has been targeted by thieves and experienced incidents of anti-social behaviour.
Now it is hoped those days have come to an end with the installation of the new perimeter fence, which will not only improve security but also boost the environment for residents and bring ‘a better sense of pride’ to the area.
Registered charity Ladybrook Enterprises Ltd manages the centre and it believes the project, which has cost £28,470 in total, will act as a catalyst to further develop the site and improve facilities for the community to use and enjoy for years to come.
Nottinghamshire County Council has contributed £12,310 from its Local Communities Fund (LCF) towards the project, which has been match-funded by Ladybrook Enterprises Ltd.
Councillor John Cottee, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “I am absolutely delighted that money from our Local Communities Fund has enabled Ladybrook Enterprises to install the new fence and ultimately improve the appearance of what is a popular facility.
“The charity delivers vital work in the heart of the community and is a lifeline to many residents who live nearby with the services and activities it provides from the Ladybrook Centre.
“The Local Communities Fund was launched last autumn to help projects that are demonstrating they are helping people to live healthier and more independent lives – and Ladybrook Enterprises certainly does that.
“I very much look forward to following the progress of the centre in the coming months and years as it continues to evolve and deliver for the betterment of the community it’s a part of.”
Cllr Sinead Anderson, whose Mansfield West division includes the Ladybrook estate, said she was delighted the charity had received LCF funding to improve its facilities.
She said: “I have a long-standing relationship with Ladybrook Enterprises and cannot speak highly enough of the work it carries out to improve the lives of local people.
“I would like to thank everyone connected with the charity for their commitment to boosting the facilities at Ladybrook Centre, which will benefit the wider community and encourage more people to take advantage of what it has to offer.”
Fellow Mansfield West member, Cllr Paul Henshaw, paid tribute to the work of the team led by chief executive Sharron Reynolds for providing help and support to residents.
He said: “Ladybrook Enterprises are a fantastic organisation who deliver a wide range of services and activities for people, from exercise and dance to counselling and therapy sessions.
“I cannot thank Sharron and her team enough for the tireless work they provide and I have every confidence their vision for the centre’s future will come to fruition, very much to the benefit of people who live on the Ladybrook estate and beyond.”
Ladybrook Community Centre was opened in 1970 and for the past 16 years Ladybrook Enterprises has been based there. It successfully purchased the centre in December 2019.
The charity delivers a range of activities and services from the centre, including counselling, support groups, exercise, friendship groups and brunch and afternoon tea clubs, which are all designed to improve the lives of those living in the area and the wider Mansfield district.
Sharron Reynolds, chief executive of Ladybrook Enterprises Ltd, said: “Thanks to funding from Nottinghamshire County Council and match funding from the charity, a brand-new fence has been installed by local company Rainworth Fencing, which has transformed the site and its potential for the future.
“Although the majority of people value the site and what it offers, unfortunately there have been a number of thefts and incidents of anti-social behaviour on the site over the last few years which has meant we have been limited in our ability to develop the grounds.
“Now that the fence is up, it is already making a huge difference. The site feels so much more open and we can begin to look at introducing more outdoor spaces and facilities for our customers.
“It is great to have a fence which now looks open and portrays the warm, welcoming atmosphere waiting on the other side for people in the community.”
For information about what services the centre provides, visit www.ladybrookcommunitycentre.