Thorne and Moorends Community Regeneration Group

Overview and Background:
A South Yorkshire community benefitting from a major reburbishment of their community centre.

The parish of Thorne, near Doncaster, comprises two major settlements; the historic market town of Thorne and the village of Moorends – with a population of 17,500. Following the closure of the local mine and loss of other major industries through the 1970s and 80s, the area suffered a breakdown in social infrastructure.

 In January 2001, residents of Thorne and Moorends attended a meeting organised by Rural Action Yorkshire, to discuss the future of their community and opportunities offered by European funding and in particular, the Rural Target Fund, which Rural Action Yorkshire managed.

 From this meeting, the Thorne and Moorends Community Regeneration Group was formed.

The approach: 

With RAY’s support, the group led on the new build and refurbishment of the community centre (£268,291 awarded in 2003) and subsequent garden renovation (£4,855).

The outcome: 

This community centre, which was once the local miners welfare centre, now houses a bright and welcoming multifunctional room, kitchen, disabled toilets, computer training room, community office and lounge area. The building provides a meeting and resource centre for 18 local groups and community organisations and employees a self-sustaining centre manager/administrator and caretaker/cleaner. 

The group also plays a key supporting role to the Thorne and Moorends Youth Group. Based at the centre, the youth group developed much needed diversionary activities for children. School holidays and after-school activities included arts and crafts, ICT, dance, boxercise, health and safety sessions, and tea club.  Up to 300 children a week can participate in the many activities on offer. 

Susan Durant, Treasurer and Administrator for the youth group, explained the need for the project “The area is severely deprived and provides few activities for local children that do not incur high costs e.g. public transport costs and entrance fees. There are very few places which can offer the various activities that our facility does” adding “you can see the children’s’ confidence levels grow, they are making new friends and having fun in a safe, warm and positive environment”.