International prize for Riverside Centre

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BULWELL’S ground-breaking new Riverside Centre has scooped an international accolade for its community engagement.

The £23 million venue (pictured) has received a prestigious Partnerships Bulletin Award, which promotes best practice and recognises innovation and excellence in public-private partnerships. The results were announced at a ceremony in London.

A panel of judges selected Riverside as winner of the ‘Best Community Project’ award.

The centre is a one-stop shop for services on Lower Main Street/Coventry Road and was opened to the public in January.

Services include two GP practices, health clinics, youth and play services, councillor surgeries, rehabilitation and therapy services, a library, cafe and pharmacy.

The centre has transformed a dilapidated ‘brownfield’ (previously used) site into a major community hub and features a new footpath that links it to the Bulwell Bogs recreation park.

Building work started in 2009 and was completed in November 2011. The project was developed and delivered by Greater Nottingham LIFT (Local Improvement Finance Trust) Company.

Coun David Liversidge (Lab), of Nottingham City Council, said: “Bulwell Riverside is Nottingham’s third and largest joint-service centre and has quickly become the hub of the local community. It offers a range of linked services in an easily accessible, attractive, state-of-the-art building.

“Winning this award demonstrates just how involved local residents have been in developing this fantastic centre.”

Ros Yousouf, a member of a friends’ group at Riverside, collected the award along with LIFT chairman Paddy Tipping, formerly Hucknall’s Labour MP.

“It’s been great being involved in this multi-million pound project,” said Ros. “It gives local people easy and convenient access to a number of services all under one roof. The friends’ group acts as the voice for citizens in Bulwell.

“We’ve had the opportunity to get involved at every stage of the project and its operation.”

The local community have been engaged in a variety of ways. A consultation involved a survey to more than 13,000 households back in 2007 which demonstrated initial support for the project through to an arts strategy.

This resulted in more than 800 citizens getting involved in arts-related activities, many of which have directly or indirectly informed art commissions that are embedded into the design of the building.