Having secured planning permission to develop a new multipurpose sports and leisure complex adjacent to its existing site on Lode Lane, the Renewal Christian Centre has been carefully planning the conversion of the industrial unit acquired for the new facility.
David Russell, Elder and Trustee at the Renewal Christian Centre is heavily involved in the project: “Whilst preliminary work had been done by Church ‘working groups’ looking at potential users, funding and project management, last year it became clear that a more comprehensive market research exercise was required.
“The opportunity for some assistance and advice was made available through the Community Enterprise for Success programme. A business adviser made a short presentation to our Trustee Board which included outlining the potential benefits of adopting a social enterprise approach for future sustainability and subsequently joined our market research sub-group, offering his independent view and expertise.
“We were advised on consultation and survey work and assisted with the drafting of questionnaires which were used during extensive research carried out amongst local schools, residential estates, housing association tenants, youth groups, parent and toddler groups and Renewal partners.
“Under the programme we were able to access support to analyse the survey data and a feasibility exercise was undertaken for an indoor skate park. It was an excellent piece of work which utilised existing case studies and highlighted the range of issues surrounding viability, including identifying potential alternatives for your social enterprise.
The market research has helped David and his colleagues identity key areas for further testing and analysis:
•Pool, table tennis and traditional indoor sports
•Fitness, Gym and Dance facilities/ activities
•5 a side football
•Lode Health pupils taking part in activities
“We finished the market research study by holding a conference of all the working groups along with the Trustees, which was supported by our adviser – dealing very comprehensively with questions, providing summary papers and guiding on next steps.
“Moving forward, the research will add significant value to funding applications for the Renewal Activity Centre, evidencing need and providing information for the Trustees to make investment decisions. Overall the work has helped the Trustees to more clearly define the use of the new facility, the importance of the link to our Family Centre and strategic decisions concerning the viability of the indoor skate park and other matters. We hope to receive further help from the programme as we progress to the next phase of the Activity Centre development later this year.”