Based in a former betting shop, the site has been transformed into a facility offering a resource for organisations and individuals working to transform one of the most deprived areas in Hertfordshire. It will allow Network Homes and partner agencies to provide advice, consultation space, engagement meetings among many other activities. Thanks to a grant from East Herts Council, the Hub will be available to community organisations to hire for free.
Helen Evans, Network Homes Chief Executive, did the honours of cutting the ribbon marking the launch of the hub in Fleming Crescent at a special ceremony involving guests from East Herts Council and local organisations.
Helen said: “The new community hub is all part of a successful partnership where we’re working with East Herts Council and partner agencies to support the sustainable growth and regeneration of Sele Farm. I’m certain it will be a valuable resource for the community for many years to come.”
Cllr Peter Boylan, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods at East Herts Council, commented: “We’re committed to investing in our communities and creating places where residents come together, and neighbourhood life thrives. Spaces like this one are so important to involving residents in shaping the future of where they live, as well as providing better access to local advice and support services. We look forward to continuing our work with Network Homes to transform Sele Farm for the benefit of all our communities.”
The community hub opening event was combined with ceremonies unveiling blue plaques marking ‘Best New Building’ awards from the Hertford Civic Society. These were unveiled for two East Herts supported projects at Sele Farm: a £34 million regeneration scheme providing new homes at the Ridgeway (2020); and the older persons scheme, Calton Court (2016). The four-yearly Hertford Civic Society Awards celebrate the commissioning of good architecture in Hertford, encourages others to think about what constitutes good design and show what it is possible to achieve in a range of different building types.
On the Ridgeway award Malcolm Ramsay, Chair of Hertford Civic Society, commented: "The judges assessing new or renovated buildings in Hertford for the years 2016 to 2020 had a wide field to choose from. They had no hesitation in declaring the Ridgeway housing development to be the best achievement of all. The site was recognised as having a strong identity and showed numerous signs of careful design. Also, focusing on observed behaviour patterns, there were signs that a positive sense of community had already begun to develop, even though the site was still very new."