We are a group of local people who share the aim of building a new community centre – a social hub for residents of Aylesham, Snowdown and the surrounding villages.
Since it was first chosen as a home for miners working in the East Kent coalfields, the village of Aylesham has seen many changes. The closure of the coal mines and slow development of alternative industries, the closure of our local school and changes to transport links to London have all had an impact. We have lost, over the years, facilities where we can meet and enjoy a social and community life.
Further change is coming to Aylesham in the form of large-scale expansion. While previous plans to grow the village faltered, the current housing development programme is expected to double the population to 8000 people.
Some local amenities may be regenerated but we are concerned that plans don’t include the creation of any new social spaces for existing residents and those moving into the area. Therefore, we’re developing plans for a new social hub in the village.
Progress so far:
- We are currently surveying local people about what they would like Aylesham Hub to provide. This project is about creating a new and flexible space for the community to use; it’s not about duplicating services that are already available, so we will work closely with local groups and service providers.
- We are in talks with Dover District Council to identify a suitable plot of land and have secured funding to carry out initial feasibility work.
- Architects have been appointed.
From initial development to the building being opened for use by the community, the project is anticipated to take several years, but we hope to enter the planning stage in 2019.
Aylesham Hub Limited
This project is being organised by Aylesham Hub Limited which has been formed as a charitable community benefit society, registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. We will be governed as a co-operative, with our Board subject to annual election and every member having a vote.
We plan to open membership in 2019 and will provide more information on that in due course.
The current Board of Aylesham Hub Ltd comprises Billy Oliver (Chair), Lawrence Knight (Secretary) and Jon Flaig (Finance).