The Hill Community Development Trust Ltd

Contact:Mike Durke, Chief Executive
Address: Phoenix Centre, Paradise Park, Powys Avenue, SWANSEA, SA1 6PH TypeFull Members
Email:mike.durke@hcdt.co.uk Web:http://hcdt.co.uk/
Tel:01792 479800   
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Description & History

The Phoenix Centre is a purpose built community enterprise centre at Paradise Park in Townhill

Townhill is the oldest and largest housing estate in Wales with a population of over 9,000 people. The Hill CDT Ltd was incorporated in September 2000 as the Phoenix Community Development Trust in order to build on the first European URBAN Community Initiative in Wales.

HCDT’s £1.3 million Phoenix Community Enterprise Centre was built with Urban Funding secured by the Local Authority.
The Phoenix Centre generates income through the hire of facilities and the renting of business units. In total the centre has 13 business units, a community café, a community nursery, conference rooms for up to 90 delegates, all weather floodlit sports pitch,a library, open access multi-use games area and open access playground.

Townhill is a Communities First area and the Trust helps develop and deliver the Communities First Programme in the area.

The Trust also runs the Older People’s Information Centre (TOPIC) at two converted Council houses in the Mayhill area and The Hill Young People’s Group (YPG) based in the Youth Support Centre, above Townhill Community Centre.

The Trust is developing proposals for Mayhill including the redevelopment of new community facilities – a café, training rooms, business units, with the inclusion of a new doctor’s surgery and pharmacy and proposals to improve a derelict park area.

Location and Area of Benefit

HCDT is based within The Hill Centre in Townhill, Swansea. The Townhill Ward is made up of three communities -Townhill, Mayhill and Gors - collectively known locally as ‘The Hill’.

Main services, Enterprises and Activities

The Phoenix Centre is our flagship initiative through which we generate income (on target for over £90,000 in 2006) through the hire of facilities and the renting of business units. In total the centre has:

  • 13 business units
  • A community café
  • A community nursery
  • Conference rooms for up to 90 delegates
  • All weather floodlit sports pitch
  • Open access multi-use games area
  • Open access playground

The centre is located in an area which used to be the focal point for a lot of anti-social and criminal behaviour with burnt out stolen cars a daily feature of the landscape in the late 1990s. Such difficulties are very firmly a thing of the past and we enjoy relative peace and quiet. Our CCTV cameras and lighting obviously play their part but we think our approach to social inclusion is as important. For us this means we should respect everyone, talk to them and offer the opportunity to get involved. Even when things go wrong and people occasionally behave badly, they are given the opportunity to put things right and start again.

The 13 units are occupied by a range of organisations and individuals including: Swansea’s Employment Training Service and Computer Recycling Project, NHS Trust health visitors, Prince’s Trust Cymru, Loans And Savings Abertawe (LASA), Swansea and Gower Talking Magazine, W Twist Ltd (sculpture and arts), Hill Opportunity To The Arts Project (HOTTAP – community arts and dance), A Brammell (Physiotherapist) and an IT suite and Digilab.

PCDT is in the process of taking over direct control of the Nursery within the centre.

The Mayhill Communities First Office was an important step in order to ensure the residents of Mayhill that their issues and concerns were as significant for PCDT as those of people living in the other Hill communities.

The Older People’s Information Centre (TOPIC) is a Communities First funded initiative based at two converted Council houses in the Mayhill.

The Hill Young People’s Group (YPG) is also a Communities First funded initiative based in the Youth Support Centre above Townhill Community Centre

Emerging & Proposed Future Developments

Child care remains a central concern of PCDT and this is why we are working with all relevant colleagues to take over the existing nursery within the Phoenix Centre. PCDT envisages the provision of these services will remain fundamental and future expansion of the nursery is a possibility for future development.

The Mayhill Community Development and Regeneration focus has had a stop and start history from the point in August 2002 when PCDT acknowledged that there were issues in Mayhill which needed specific attention, many of which were linked to health and social concerns. While there have been improvements (see above), PCDT remains enthusiastic to explore further the idea of major works in a central area of importance for the local community – Mayhill Park and Community Centre.

Following a feasibility study in 2004, community members were keen to see the centre extended with the adjacent derelict park being put to better use. The upshot was a proposal to extend the existing community centre to house extensive community facilities – a café, training rooms, business units, with the innovative inclusion of a new doctor’s surgery and pharmacy. PCDT hopes to make progress on this project in 2007 in partnership with the voluntary management committee at the centre which would remain fundamental to the organisation of all social and recreational activities. The confirmed continued support of the Local Health Board and a GPs practice is a key aspect of this progression.