Bristol Charities is to end its lease of the Summerhill Centre on Summerhill Rd, BS5 HJ. We understand the handover of the building back to Bristol City Council (BCC) will be at the end of April.
The Summerhill Centre is just across the road from Cherry Orchard Lane, you can its exact location on this map. It was built in the late 1960s and extended in 1980.
It was originally used by the Bristol Association of Senior Citizens Clubs, as part of a portfolio of 7 other Bristol City Council-owned properties; the Association ran into financial difficulties between 2002-2005 and eventually disbanded. In 2006, Bristol Charities were granted a lease for the Summerhill property; the other 6 clubs have since closed.
Over the past 10 years, Bristol Charities have managed the building as a day centre for older people (with a service contract from Bristol City Council). The building has also been let out to the wider community for a range of different social and community activities.
Bristol Charities has informed Bristol City Council of their intention to hand the property back at the end of their notice period (believed to be 3 months); they are unable to make the day centre financially sustainable and have decided not to re-tender for the Bristol City Council Day Services contract. Bristol Charities have already informed the members of the Summerhill Club and other regular users of the impending closure at the end of April.
The Summerhill Club is a social club for older people, with approx 70 members and 30-40 regular attendees; they use the building for their social activities on 3 evenings and one afternoon each week; many of the Club’s members have used the building for more than 20 years and are concerned about its loss.
Bristol City Council have already received several enquiries from interested parties in taking over the management of the property. There are likely to be competing interests, including social housing, sheltered housing, private housing, Bristol City Council day centre, community-managed day centre, social club, community centre, place of worship, etc. BCC now needs to determine what the building should be used for after April 2017.
Bristol City Council are liaising with Bristol Charities to ensure an orderly hand-over, but at this stage it seems likely that the building will close at the end of April, unless an interim solution can be found.
The Council will give us more information when they have it but if you can share any suggestions or information that could help the Council achieve a good outcome please contact:
Property Partner (Neighbourhoods & Communities)
Asset Strategy Team
Property Division, Place Directorate
Bristol City Council
Tel: 0117 90 36440
Mobile: 07584 407 753