Community Spirit Saves The Ironworks

March 04, 2024

Community Spirit Saves The Ironworks

The IronWorks Southend Community Venue, a vital community hub that has had a transformative impact on the local community and High Street, has been saved from closure, with both Unity In Community and Atlantic Pacific delighted to have played a part.

The Ironworks, a symbol of creativity, inclusivity, and resilience, has been facing imminent threat of closure due to financial challenges. Its current funding from the UK Government – SELEP, secured by Southend City Council as part of the High Street regeneration project, expired on February 9th, 2024.

Following the announcement that The Evening Echo exclusively broke last Friday, and also the statement released on social media – the response from the community has been overwhelming – the news flooded Southend and it became the talk of the city.

Several businesses have since donated, and individuals have raised funds, to ensure The Ironworks could continue, which included a generous donation from Unity In Community’s Atlantic Pacific Group directors  – Ashley and Chrissy Nichols”.

The Ironworks Centre was established in 2021 as a response by Kiwi Productions to Southend Council’s call to activate an empty High Street shop space, emphasizing creative uses, community engagement, and the fight against social isolation and emotional and physical well-being. In just one year, the Ironworks has become an integral part of Southend’s cultural regeneration, with accomplishments including:

  • Welcoming over 150,000 individuals since its doors opened
  • Providing space for over 50 charities, local service providers and local government campaigns
  • Hosting 80 weekly additional needs clubs, welcoming over 1,000 visits from members
  • Offering free arts and crafts for children, with over 150 kids participating each week
  • Hosting numerous private and music events, involving over 1,000 musicians
  • Showcasing numerous artists and supporting local traders
  • Employing 20 individuals and engaging 10 regular weekly volunteers, many with additional needs

The Ironworks is not just a place for events and activities; it is a safe, accessible space that enriches the lives of the Southend community. Testimonials and the impact of their work can be found on their social media channels, particularly on their Facebook page and Instagram.

 

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