Plymouth’s Granby Island centre gets new lease of life


By Sian Davies

Tracy Ley, (r) chief finance and HR officer alongside Linda Hobbs of Plymouth Training and Consultancy, which is moving into the building.Tracy Ley, (r) chief finance and HR officer alongside Linda Hobbs of Plymouth Training and Consultancy, which is moving into the building.

 A FORMER community centre in Plymouth has been bought by a charitable organisation created to bring people together.

Granby Island Community Centre, which went into receivership in 2011, has been bought by Keyham Community Partnership (KCP) and reopened as a family centre and business hub.

Now named Froebel House, the site holds a special Ministry of Defence Covenant so can only be used for community activities and interests.

Stephen Lewis, chief executive of KCP, a charitable organisation launched in 1996, said: “We moved in last year, and have since been tidying up the centre and running a number of courses.

“The new centre is called Froebel House, and named after the German educationalist Friedrick Froebel. He laid the foundations for modern education systems, based on the recognition that children have unique needs and capabilities.

“We are developing the site into a community learning centre and supporting local people to up-skill into the workplace. We have training rooms, offices, and a nursery creche with a team of 20 nursery practitioners.

“Our core areas will include working with NEETS (young people not in education, employment, or training), supporting community cohesion, mobility, and creating foundations for people to reach their aspirations in the education and jobs market.

“We’ll be a community resource that needs to be sustainable if the centre is to thrive and be at the heart of the community, where education is a way out of poverty.”

The two-storey building is one of the most prominent sites in Devonport, and covers an area 4,842 square feet.

Plymouth Training and Consultancy will be based in the centre from September, providing training for The Children and Young People’s Workforce.

Linda Hobbs, from the company said: “My company recently celebrated four years in businesswhere I run NSPCC-accredited programmes on child protection, prevention of bullying, and children’s rights.

“I am very excited that we will be based in the centre and will be working very closely with the KCP.”

Mr Lewis, added: “Linda’s business is growing and having her based in the centre is exciting and complements our activities.”

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