New city centre church and community centre opens with café, grocery shop and food bank

At a time when many of our local community centres are closing, it is heartwarming to see a local company go the extra mile for their neighbours.

That’s exactly what construction company Willmott Dixon’s Manchester team have done: investing £118,000 and countless man-hours in order to provide a new community café, IT training room, meeting spaces and a food bank for their local community.

The company brought together a team of 50 volunteers to deliver the £118,000 refurbishment, as well as getting their Manchester supply chain partners and customers to donate their time and resources in order to help make the transformation of the Salvation Army’s Manchester Central church and community centre possible.

It was officially opened by The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Cllr Abid Latif Chohan at an event that saw a range of organisations and members of the local community come together at the newly refurbished church and community centre on Grosvenor Street.

“…a hub of activity for the local community championing diversity. Our doors are always open…”

Captain Kay Blues, leader of The Salvation Army Manchester Central church and
community centre

The centre operates in a diverse community with over 25 different languages spoken, and the opening reflected this with a range of cuisine on offer from different countries alongside a Tai Chi performance and African dancers. 

Captain Kay Blues, leader of The Salvation Army Manchester Central church and
community centre said: “We wanted the community centre to give people in the local
area what they wanted and needed, we asked them, listened and put it into reality their
requests which is where the new grocery store and community café came from.

“The event showcased the excellent work that all involved carried out to redevelop the
centre, making it a hub of activity for the local community and we were so pleased that
the Lord Mayor of Manchester was able to join us for the celebration.

“The event also championed diversity in the area, and in Manchester, and really reflected the people living around us. Our doors are always open to all and we’re so proud to be able to welcome everyone to share in what has been created!”

The newly refurbished building, which saw remodelling take place to provide an IT training room, meeting spaces and a food bank, will also house The Works: a partnership between The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, City South Manchester Housing Trust and Work Solutions.

The Works has helped more than 4,000 people back into work in the seven and a half years it has been formed and it makes the move to The Salvation Army from its original Moss Side base, which it has now outgrown.


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