From Tory Club to Community Hub: The new social centre in Smithdown

 

A deserted Conservative Club on Crawford Avenue, just off Smithdown Road is set to be given a new lease of life as it becomes a hub for the whole community.

A Crowdfunder has been started to raise the £30,000 needed to repair the damaged building, which will be renamed the Smithdown Social Club and become a non for profit venue for people of the local community.

Smithdown Road
Smithdown Road

Rooms will be transformed into quiet areas where people can come to relax and various activities and events will be held there.

So far plans include; weekly lunch clubs for the elderly, yoga classes, men’s mental health groups, film screenings, music nights and gigs from up and coming local artists.

The idea behind the social club is to reduce isolation and encourage community engagement as well as being a space for musicians and artists to use to grow.

A previous Crowdfunder raised the money needed to pay the initial the legal bills and rent on the club to get it started.

Now more money is needed to fix the roof, replace the heating system, upgrade the electrical system, install hot water and a disabled toiled, create a usable kitchen and upgrade the sound system.

Money raised will also cover the costs of opening the club during an event, such as gas and electricity bills as well as staff and security wages.

The club will become part of the Liverpool Independent Cooperatives, a group that encourages co-operation between the community and local businesses on Smithdown Road.

The Co-operative works with the City of Liverpool FC and runs the Naked Lunch Cafe, which is owned by the community after they rallied to save it from closure in 2016.

The Naked Lunch Cafe
The Naked Lunch Cafe, owned by the community around Smithdown Road

So far the response in the local community has been positive. Brenda Monohan, Director of Liverpool Independent Co-operative said: “People love it, they absolutely love it. With all of the music venues that are shutting down across the country there really isn’t a place for up and coming artists and musicians to express themselves. Every time they come here people say “thanks so much for doing this, this area needs a place like this.” We have community backing from people, we just need to get it out there even more and say come and support us because we do need it.”

Mrs Monohan spoke with Mersey Mash about the plans for the club and what it was all about, watch the full interview below.

 

Clearly a hit, the community, as well as local companies and artists have even taken to social media to express their love for the new venue.

The Social Club has already begun hosting events, including performances from The Seahorses’ Chris Helme and even the launch event for the new Adidas “Merseyside Pack” Trimm Trab trainers.

 

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