Milestone for Friends of Castle Green
Friends of Castle Green CIC (FoCG) has today submitted planning permission to transform the historic Pavilion building on Castle Green. Whilst respecting its Georgian heritage, the architect plans submitted aim to create a modern, accessible space and iconic visitor attraction in the heart of Hereford. It’s one of the first of our projects to submit planning.
The revitalised building will provide cafe facilities and flexible community meeting space, as well as the opportunity to celebrate local arts and heritage and a revived home for the Hereford Youth Canoe Centre (HYCC). The once forgotten Pavilion will become a new and much needed thriving and sustainable community hub, a defining visitor attraction in the city and a source of pride for residents.
The £1.56 million regeneration of this historic building on the banks of the River Wye is part of the enhanced River Wye infrastructure to open up leisure opportunities in the city centre.
Local architect, Oliver Steels of Errand Studio, has worked closely with the FoCG Board of Directors to develop drawings of the proposed works to the building, incorporating the desires and ideas of the local community as a result of extensive public consultation by FoCG.
The project is a culmination of over 10 years work by FoCG, a volunteer led Community Interest Company which is committed to enhancing and protecting the Castle Green area of Hereford for future generations. It took over the Pavilion building on a Community Asset Transfer (CAT) from Herefordshire Council on a 25 year lease in 2018 with the aim of restoring the Pavilion to reflect its historic past and re-create it for use as a sustainable community asset.
Paddy Nugent, Chair of FoCG said: “We are incredibly excited to have reached the stage of applying for planning permission to restore and regenerate the Pavilion. As a group, we have worked very hard to reach this stage and it is testament to the trust invested in us by the local community to look after the building that we are now able to achieve what we set out to do more than ten years ago. There is still a long road ahead of us, but this is a massive milestone in the regeneration of the Pavilion as a sustainable community asset.”
Several projects were grouped together as they strongly fitted together to improve movement around the city, as well as improve perceptions of our city too. The Castle Green project fits in with ‘access and greening’ and complements the Meadow Arts and Greening the City projects.
For years we have not made the most of the leisure and economic potential of the River Wye, and this project puts the river right at the heart of our creative and youth community. The refurbished pavilion will provide a revitalised home for the Youth Canoe Club, café facilities, a community meeting space and a gallery to celebrate local arts and heritage.
There’s also huge potential for Castle Green to become a festival village. Having already hosted large scale events with up to 3,500 people, it’s natural amphitheatre combined with the focus of the newly refurbished pavilion could again become a vibrant space.