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Crayford Manor House could become hub for voluntary sector in Bexley

PUBLISHED: 17:23 14 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:23 14 February 2017

Voluntary sector groupscould be based at Crayford manor house

Voluntary sector groupscould be based at Crayford manor house

Archant

Early talks are underway

The borough’s voluntary sector could soon be easily accessed from one site.

Early talks to use Crayford Manor House as a hub for the voluntary sector in Bexley are underway between the council, Bexley Voluntary Service Council and a small number of third sector groups.

The idea originally came up when Tesco was expected to develop the former civic offices site in Bexleyheath.

If plans go ahead, residents would be able to access support from key charities and community organisations in one place, as well as helping organisations share back-office functions.

“These are very early days and there is a lot of work still to be done, but it is a very interesting proposal,” said cabinet member for regeneration and growth, Linda Bailey.

“We will be looking to see if there is enough interest to secure a sustainable project with a core group acting as pioneers who would provide a new business model that other charities can join.

“Having a thriving, vibrant and well supported voluntary sector in Bexley is a key priority for the Council and it would be great if they could create an active community hub for our residents.

“Manor House, with its easy accessibility for visitors and volunteers, seems a perfect choice. I look forward to seeing more in depth work on this as the project progresses.”

Chief executive of BVSC, Sakthi Suriyaprakasam, said: “We have been exploring the idea of a hub that can house our voluntary and community sector organisations for some time.

“We know that together we can offer more coordinated support and services to residents and create a lively centre for community engagement.

“Crayford Manor House, with its local history and beautiful surroundings, also offers great opportunities to develop indoor and outdoor activities that will enable local people to be more actively involved in their community.”

Any plans for the site will not impact on the activity of the bowls club that is located adjacent to the site.

An engagement programme will be announced in coming weeks with a view to developing a business case by the Autumn.

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