New community room launched for educational activities in Harborough

The project was made possible thanks to a £9,000 Severn Trent Community grant

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 9:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 9:32 am
A new community room which can host a range of events and activities has opened in Harborough's Eco Village, thanks to the £9,000 grant from Severn Trent.

A new community room which can host a range of events and activities has opened in Harborough.

The room is based at Harborough's Eco Village and the founders hope it will provide a space for a 'diverse community-led educational events programme'.

The project was made possible thanks to a £9,000 Severn Trent Community grant.

Beth Lambert and Beth Awdry are the founders of the Eco Village and they said that the community room fits their vision of 'putting the community at the centre of the Eco Village'.

Founded as a Community Interest Company in 2020, the Eco Village is home to an ever-growing collection of small businesses and community groups, and now with the support from Severn Trent’s Community Fund Campaign, the two are thrilled to be opening their new community room.

Beth said: “We are really excited that we are able to offer this wonderful space for educational events.

"It has been an integral part of the vision from the start and it is great to be able to finally share it with the local community."

In January 2020 Severn Trent launched its Community Fund which supports new projects in their local communities. They will be giving away more than £10million over five years.

Sue Heyes, community fund officer at Severn Trent, said: “We’re so proud that our Community Fund has been able to support such a fantastic project, one that will give the local community a safe, functional space to use for such a diverse range of projects.”

The team at the Eco Village have not wasted any time designing a programme of events.

High on the agenda are plans for workshops and classes for their community garden project. The project will bring together local residents, schools and community groups to learn growing techniques to help secure a sustainable future.

Beth added: “We want the community room to be a hub for learning. We’d love to see the space used for a whole host of educational activities centred around sustainable living.”

“Supporting local initiatives such as Sustainable Harborough Community, Slow The Flow, and Harborough Woodland Group, with a venue to explore the critical issues that they highlight, is hugely important to us.”

“Being community driven, we anticipate a wide and diverse range of users. We have plans for clothing swaps and other community events such as breastfeeding groups, sustainable children’s parties and playgroups, among numerous other ideas.”

Using the grant money, the room located upstairs in their EcoFresh building has been transformed into a working classroom and community space. With the addition of new flooring, a moveable room divide, plus furniture and equipment; the room is flexible enough to support the broad scope of planned activities.

Supporting this transformation is an educational mural, created by local artist, Katie Brosnan.

Based in Kettering, the award-winning author illustrator has brought together the vision for the room.

She said: “Beginning with the original Eco Village mind map and ideas surrounding sustainable living, I combined this with ways the Eco Village is now used as a space to gather, learn, grow and shop sustainably.

“I’m hoping the mural portrays how the community can work collectively to address issues surrounding climate change.”

The Seven Trent Community Fund came at just the right time and has allowed the Eco Village to develop further.

“We couldn’t have done this without the support of Severn Trent," said Beth.

"To be able to welcome people to sit, learn and create together, will be amazing.

"There are so many people that we had conversations with two years ago when planning the Eco Village, so to finally be able to offer them space will mean the vision has come full circle. We can’t wait to see where it leads us next.”