Community Hub

In this section we collated feedback from you and other Prestwich residents  and shared it with

As the feedback period has now closed, we have stopped accepting comments on this for now.

Feedback on how the Prestwich Regeneration Project should develop the Community Hub for the benefit of all

Types of Events that could be hosted here:

  1. Bands/Dances
  2. etc

(further information will be added from the comments below)

23 thoughts on “Community Hub”

  1. The community hub must be fit for daily use by community groups. It should provide facilities for community groups to meet and spaces for local health and fitness groups, youth groups and events such as bands, dances, the beer festival, christmas market that all previously occured in the village centre and longfield suite.

    Careful consideration needs to be given to replacement of facilities on a like-for-like basis when equivalent facilities already exist in the village.

    1. Agree with that entirely Simon. Over the last week I’ve been around the centre at “school out” time and have had conversations with the Mums standing around the concrete spiral! They’ve all remembered the Longfield suite with great affection and are very keen to have a similar venue in the hub. One expressed surprise at how small the hub appears to be in the plan.

  2. Agreed. The hub needs to accommodate all the facilities we enjoy now and also offer potential for other services and community resources. It should be the heart of the village not an adjunct.

  3. 1) The plans currently use half of the ground for residential housing and so vastly reduce the space for shops and community buildings, while Prestwich is quite lacking in community buildings. People have been wanting a swimming pool for years and I’ve heard people asking for a gym. I know of two local organisations that would love to have a large venue that would seat 300+ in Prestwich – for weekly hire. Such a multipurpose venue needs to be available in place of the Longfield Suite.

    2) The residential area on the plans actually sits right between the tram stop and the shops and community buildings. This separates the community facilities from the important means of access to them. Footfall would be past residential buildings, which is totally where you want it reduced! It seems that the aim is to maximise the asking price for the homes by keeping them near the trams and away from the busy Bury New Road. But this is the centre of the whole of Prestwich and so community buildings and shops should take absolute priority. Residential needs to be reduced greatly form the plans, or moved away to be near the new car park area and/or above facilities as per the Radius. We must keep ground between the tram stop and Bury New Road available for community use and….

    3) Future development potential
    Once you take the land away and make it “residential”, you won’t get it back in future. The development should have in mind the potential for future development if new community facilities are needed in dacades to come. There is very little land in Prestwich that is not either developed and in use or is park land. Our centre is a precious area which needs to be there for the community to use now and however it might need to develop in the future.

  4. The ‘vision’ for the community hub lists many uses, but I am not sure it could support all of these given the size of land allocated to it, even for a multistory building, and that is without trying to accommodate a health centre too.
    Given the loss in Bury Metropolitan Borough of larger sized venues it would be good to have a space similar in size to the Longfield Suite, which could be made available for community use and commercial hire.
    The location of the hub on the periphery of the development seems to have relegated it’s civic standing compared to that of the Longield Suite.

    1. I agree. I think the usage needs to clearly mapped out or if we are not careful the community hub will basically be a notice board.

      If you think about current proposals which possible include a private gym (which is not a community asset) and a health center (which could easily take a whole floor) then there isn’t much room left for anything else!

      So it’s Important we see how the hub will be used so we know what we are getting.

      A large floor dedicated to empty space (like dancing) would be something that could you used for multiple community events, sessions etc like the Longfield Suite used to be used. And we know it will be used.

  5. Community resources need to be guaranteed. This should be non negotiable and form the central hub of the village. Otherwise it is just a housing estate with a few token trees and wind tunnel walkways.
    At present the car park is free, it is ‘ours’ and visitors come and go easily using the shops, cafes, library, health centre etc. The proposed multi level car park (usp it is removed from centre, lower pollution , less traffic, pedestrianised area etc etc) will not be free and will discourage visitors.
    The existing square footage of community space should be compared to the proposed development. We should not be short changed and placated with a mini hub in a housing estate.

  6. The Community Hub should become a health and wellness centre, including integrated health and social care and primary care services- ensuring there is a coordinated approach to the health and care support for Prestwich residents. The facilities should offer a range of multi-functional rooms that can become meeting areas/ business workspaces/ individual clinical /therapy rooms. A library is essential to promote social inclusivity, and community cohesion and maintaining mental and physical well-being. The hub can be the front door access to a range of activities and builds community resilience instead of residents being batted from pillar to post to access essential support services. A community cafe provision and an event space that has the flexibility with partition walls or retractable seating for theatre/ gigs/ dances/exercise classes etc.

  7. My main requirement of the community hub is that it should house GP surgeries and medical facilities. I think we should look for guarantees on this aspect of provision. The Council representatives said the it was up to the GPs involved but I think they could broker a deal before starting the build.

  8. The JV has said health and well being is at the heart of its proposal. Therefore existing community services must be retained and enhanced and there are ways of doing this to ensure viability. I understand the Council plan to build a swimming pool in Radcliffe, after demolishing the previous pool. Therefore a sprung large dance floor the size of the large Longfield Centre room should be provided as a multi purpose space with flexible walls incorporated so the space can be split into smaller areas for other activities. There are many examples of new community hubs incorporating such areas and if designed well with garden areas could facilitate weddings/events etc. I am concerned the Council repeatedly state the dancefloor is not viable when this was the case in and old building and they are designing out this possibility because they don’t want to manage it, preferring to put in commercial ventures such as cafes, gym, gp rooms and they would only need to manage the library. I feel the community should insist on this. The JV have asked what is Prestwich about and the dancefloor was a key community feature providing theatre, cinema, music, dance facilities for large events to be held and to further provide facilities for people to use their talents and enjoy events.

  9. This feedback is from the Inclusion subgroup on the neighbourhood forum steering group.

    In providing this, we have looked at a range of accessible developments/regeneration projects. This includes Chester Northgate development and Storyhouse cultural centre (Chester is the first British city to win the European Access City Award); Sweetwater, Sonoma in California; Village Landais, dementia village in France; The House of Disabled People’s Organisations in Copenhagen, and Southern Cross station rail terminal in Melbourne, Australia. We have also drawn on research from the AHRC funded D4D project, exploring disabled peoples’ experiences of community in the UK including research with young people in the NW (Oldham and Bury).

    It is predicated that by 2050, disabled people will make up 15% of residents in urban areas (United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs: Disability, 2016). However, Disabled people are often effectively excluded from participation in consultations about planning developments due to a failure to provide materials in a range of accessible formats or to run events in an accessible manner. Good accessibility should include providing appropriate time and space to enable disabled people to engage with proposals and provide feedback on these in a way that best suits them. It is also essential that the needs of disabled people are taken into account and anticipated from the outset, as indicated in the Equality Act 2010. The United Nations publication Good Practices of Accessible Urban Development (2016) also underlines the importance of:

    active and meaningful participation of persons with disabilities and their organizations, as rights-holders and as agents and beneficiaries of development during all stages of the urbanization process

    It is unfortunate that despite requesting that materials should be provided in a range of accessible formats including easy read to facilitate the participation of disabled people, at present residents with additional needs have not been actively supported by Bury Council to participate meaningfully. This is something that needs to be addressed urgently to ensure that the regeneration of the village reflects the needs of every resident now and in the future.

    Accessibility should not be an afterthought.

    The UN report goes onto note that accessibility should be:

    actively promoted as a collective good that benefits all. Accessibility facilitates full and effective participation of all and should therefore be incorporated and actively promoted as an integral component of good policy to achieve inclusive and sustainable urban development. (UN Report 2016)

    It is also important to note that:

    Available evidence illustrates that urban infrastructures, facilities and services, if designed and built following accessibility or inclusive “universal design” principles from the initial stages of planning and design, bear almost no or only 1 per cent additional cost (UN Report 2016)

    Alongside disabled people in the community, we are also facing demographic shifts and an ageing population. By 2050, 1 in 4 people living in Europe and Northern America could be aged 65 or over (1 in 6 globally), and the prevalence of people living with dementia in the UK is estimated to rise from c.944,000 at present to 1.6 million ( ). The majority of these people will live in the community rather than in residential care settings.

    The needs of disabled people and older people are not identical but often intersect, as do the needs of wheelchair users and young families using prams and push chairs.

    On this basis, we want to see the following:

    1. accessibility and inclusivity addressed explicitly in the communications and planning documents produced by both the council and the developer.
    2. The provision of documents/consultations/events in a range of accessible formats and in a manner that enables everyone to participate and share their views.
    3. Step free access, dropped curbs and wheelchair friendly surfaces throughout (ie no cobbles).
    4. An equality impact assessment on the route from the proposed carpark through to the community hub with specific reference to the risks that an increase in traffic/road users may present to disabled and older people.
    5. Access maps and the integration of GPS apps such as blindsquare ( to support visually impaired and blind people to navigate the village centre
    6. Support for community groups to hold regular events in the hub – dementia friendly café for example, leisure activities for learning disabled young adults and so on, and a commitment to ensuring that the rights of disabled and older people to have social and leisure opportunities is actively supported and protected.
    7. The Provision of quiet spaces in the community hub/communal areas for autistic people and people with sensory processing impairments (including people with dementia) to support people who are hypersensitive to sound, light and movement.
    8. Broader sensory friendly design considerations such as enabling people to see spaces across thresholds; quiet heating and ventilation systems; use of muted colours, neutral tones and natural light. (See
    9. Ensuring ease of flow throughout the centre and the community hub (eg column-free spaces, low counters to help disabled people move around and access services more easily).
    10. Accessible toilets and at least one changing places toilet in the community hub
    11. Flexible seating in communal/café areas
    12. Lift doors that stay open longer
    13. handrails on both sides of staircases,
    14. Provision of hearing induction loops
    15. Braille directions, tactile guidance and easy-to-read pictographs on signage


    Designing for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (2009); Full Report

    Good Practices of Accessible Urban Development (2016)


    Blindsquare navigation app

    Landais Dementia Village

    Sweetwater, Sonoma

    1. I think that the importance of having an aging population in the UK should not be underestimated. Hopefully, this is a development that will be in place until the end of the century and needs to factor in that community space will be more important than ever over that period as we gain an older demographic.

      The references to the lost dance floor elsewhere in the feedback shows that by providing this facility we know that it will be used by the community for dances, exercise, music events, meetings etc. and this is what will create a vibrant hub for the centre of Prestwich and attract people to the shops.

      This is not to exclude younger people as I remember that pubs (like ‘The Grapes’ ) used to host bands, somewhere young people could maybe start off their musical career. These places don’t exist any more which is a great shame.

      It is important that making short-term profit is not the only consideration.

  10. The library is one of the jewels in our crown . The book collection, computers , training rooms and activities provide a real social heart . Children come in and out after school. Lack of funding limits open hours which should be extended. This needs plenty of quality space in a community hub .

    Suggestions include:
    – Gym & swimming pool.
    – Community services in an adequate space.
    – Intergenerational space.
    – Bigger community space.
    – Sports.
    – Regenerated library (see regenerated StoryHouse:
    – IT access.
    – Charity shops to encourage reuse.
    – Eco centre/hub.
    – Dancefloor.
    – Outdoor areas to spend time/meet people.
    – Flexible community space that can be used by community & voluntary groups.

    Ensure these are at the heart of the village which helps to reduce travel miles & environmental impact and encourage a circular local economy. Affordable rents are crucial for this.

    (Theme complied through responds to Prestwich Environmental Forum’s Green Regeneration survey)

  12. I think we need a lot more space for the community hub than is currently included in the plans. looking at the size of the current health centre and the space that the library and longfield suite take up. I also think they should be two separate buildings one for community activities, library, arts, entertainment etc and the other focussed on health. I think the two things clash.

    If we could fit a new nhs dentist in the health centre that would be amazing as it is desperately needed in the area.

  13. The library is an essential service in Prestwich and it is vital that this is maintained in the new Village Square. It needs to be easily accessible for all sectors of the community: older and disabled people; people with children in prams and pushchairs; working people and students.

  14. Copied from PVNF WhatsApp Group

    On 30th June 2021, Prestwich Councillor Richard Gold presented a report on ‘The Future of the Civic Venues’ to Bury Council’s Cabinet meeting. Paragraph 8.3.1 states:

    “The Longfield Suite is intrinsically linked to the regeneration and development of Prestwich….. As part of the regeneration of Prestwich, the Council will seek to achieve a strong civic presence in the heart of the town and will seek to ensure that public health, social and community space, libraries and adult education are re-provided in flexible, cost efficient and state of the art space. Modern public sector hub buildings can be designed with specifications including ‘sprung floors’ to accommodate a wide range of activities such as dancing, and fitness classes and it has been proposed that the Longfield’s Suite current floor is recovered and reused in this instance where possible.”

    Will Councillor Gold and the rest of Cabinet be keeping their promise? The community space needs to be the same floorsize as the Longfield Suite plus the library and offices. It should be a flexible space suitable for the same uses e.g.:

    • Plays and other performances (ie with a stage and dressing rooms for performers)
    • Films
    • Concerts and large music festivals
    • Sprung dance floor for ballroom/latin dancing and dance events
    • Exercise classes
    • Community groups and clubs
    • Public meetings and conferences
    • Church groups
    • Sports events
    • Awards events and ceremonies
    • Markets and fairs
    • Exhibitions
    • Art and culture
    • Blood donation sessions
    • Room hire
    • Catering and bar facilities
    • Subsidised café
    • Library resources, computer suite, learning and education, community fridge, community groups, homework club, talks, notices, bank/police surgeries, council services, seating and tables to work at/read at/keep warm/socialise etc
    • Heritage Centre for local archives, artefacts, rolls of honour and displays

  15. Copied from PVNF WhatsApp Group

    Who will be running the community space – will it be PFI, private, the council, a council agent? How much will it cost to hire? Charges for using the community space should be very cheap/free for locals.

  16. The main things the Council and local councillors should be considering is the impact of sacrificing the Longfield Centre’s commercial and community spaces to the God of overpriced housing. We should have the same amount of affordable retail and community space after the re-development as we do now. On 30th June 2021, Bury Council’s Cabinet made a promise to the people of Prestwich when it considered Councillor Richard Gold’s report on ‘The Future of the Civic Venues’. Paragraph 8.3.1 states: “The Longfield Suite is intrinsically linked to the regeneration and development of Prestwich….. As part of the regeneration of Prestwich, the Council will seek to achieve a strong civic presence in the heart of the town and will seek to ensure that public health, social and community space, libraries and adult education are re-provided in flexible, cost efficient and state of the art space. Modern public sector hub buildings can be designed with specifications including ‘sprung floors’ to accommodate a wide range of activities such as dancing, and fitness classes and it has been proposed that the Longfield’s Suite current floor is recovered and reused in this instance where possible.” Will Councillor Gold and the rest of Cabinet be keeping their promise?

  17. Copied From PVNF FB Page

    Community hub looks small independent shops don’t look like a huge space either . So much to fit in to the space to keep everyone happy it’s hard isn’t it .. space for coffee shops

    If the health centre is going in the hub it needs to be about 4 times the size it is on plan especially with all this extra accommodation as they will all need a local GP!

    We need good access for disabled and a zumped health centre and community hospital like the Radcliffe primary care centre or the rock etc.

  18. Copied From PVNF FB Page

    I miss the Longfield suite. I hope they rebuild something similar. They seem to be focusing on a health centre, which is important, of course. But so is a social hub with local entertainment. Keep people local. No taxis into Manchester etc.

    The health and well being hub needs to be a multifunctional facility that can be a venue for health provision, leisure pursuits but also an entertainment venue.

  19. I would like to see a great multi-purpose event space which could be utilised by different community groups, as well as putting on shows and performances. With plans for the library and medical centre to be housed here, as well as potential office space, my concern is that the proposed building space looks far too small to accommodate everything.

  20. Community is a strong aspect of Prestwich life. A new hub needs to build on what is already offered and replace what has been lost by Longfield Suite premature closure. It needs vision for expansion into new areas for groups to gather, to share, to learn, to enjoy. The library is essential with all its services and must not be reduced. The well being aspects of community are more and more of a priority. Have discussions opened for NHS involvement? Are the council looking to manage an event space?
    The hub will be a destination building so needs good clear access but does not require main road prominence – this should be for retail.

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