In danger of closing over a decade ago, Stephen Knight and those closely connected with Netherton Community Centre rallied around to save the facility from impending closure.
12 years on, Netherton has a welcoming centre in the heart of its community which is used weekly by the public and used for children’s breakfast clubs, over 60s events, Brownies and dancing groups.
But having revamped the facility to include a fully-fitted kitchen and disabled access, Netherton Community Centre organisers wanted to expand its potential even further.
And that’s where Comoodle came in.
For Comoodle, a community-sharing project first introduced in 2015 by Kirklees Council to advertise ‘stuff, space and skills’, is the online platform which Netherton Community Centre needed to transform it into a facility that not only took pride in its humble beginnings, but offered a place of sanctuary for many groups from across the local area.
Appealing for businesses and groups to use the space, the free advertisement on Comoodle has helped Netherton widen its audience reach and highlight its centre benefits to enjoy.
Stephen Knight, Netherton Community Centre manager, said:
“We’ve had the community centre now for 12 years. It was due for closure back then and if we hadn’t have taken over the running of it, it would have closed completely which would have been a disaster for the community.
“We realised that the centre was the only available, rentable space in Netherton and knew the potential it had to offer the perfect setting for special occasions such as parties, weddings and group functions.
“But we needed something to help up elevate the centre from just the Netherton residents knowing about it, to people across the neighbouring communities finding out what the centre can provide for them.
“Using Comoodle was an easy process. I signed Netherton Community Centre up to the Comoodle site and am offering the main hall as a free space for people and businesses to access.
“We have a new kitchen, new bathroom, a snooker table and a range of equipment that is just asking for businesses to use the space and benefit from it.
“There are a lot of groups working in isolation and they’re not sharing knowledge. They’re not sharing equipment. I think it’s important to any community to share knowledge and share space.
“These spaces are not being used four or five days a week so it makes sense to encourage the community to use them.”
Stephen is urging building owners to get in touch and take advantage of the space on offer.
“Businesses live in our community so it’s important we celebrate them as much as they celebrate us,” he said.
“Some might see it as a risk, but as a business or building owner you should be taking risks everyday. I do. Business isn’t straight-forward, it’s about taking risks and by using Comoodle and taking advantage of free space, that’s one risk that’s certainly worth taking.”