CICC is a registered charity which was set up in 2017 with the aim of providing much needed community facilities, in particular for children, young people, women and the elderly. Building bridges with the local community and encouraging dialogue between different faith and community groups is essential to our work.
Our membership and donors are made up of local, mostly professional, and retired families. We are proud to have so many members working in public services, such as the NHS, in education, as well as local business people who help our local economy thrive. This community is active, generous and enthusiastic about making Colchester a wonderful home for their families and the wider community.
We have been actively seeking a suitable place to host our activities since 2017 and have been raising funds and saving up to buy our own place.
We were really excited to see the Beehive, Bromley Road, Colchester, for sale on Rightmove, since it fitted our needs. The Beehive was put on the open market in Feb 2019 and remained so until it was put under offer in September 2019.
Prior to purchasing the property, we made a pre-planning application to the council for change of use from pub to community centre and were given a positive response. We are delighted to have raised the full amount of £475,000 plus expenses from our community to purchase the property, which demonstrates the need, excitement and desire from locals to have this much needed community space.
The owners at the time, were pleased we were buying the property for use as a community facility rather than it being demolished by developers to build more houses.
We are encouraged by the endorsement and support of local councillors who have supported our endeavour since our inception. Cllr Tim Young has said; “I am very happy for my support for this excellent application to be made public. It is, I believe, something we should all be supporting as a caring, cohesive, friendly, welcoming community.”
We have recently attended a meeting, organised by local councillors, in Greenstead and met with local residents to address their concerns and share our community centre’s vision. We aimed to reassure residents that we will be considerate and kind neighbours and will provide a valuable community space which will have a range of programmes open to the whole community. Many Colchester residents, from diverse backgrounds, have welcomed this development and have written messages of support and encouragement.
Cllr Tim Young has said; “We [met] with local residents and representatives of the Colchester Islamic Community Centre to discuss and understand the issues involved. I am very glad to say that most of the residents were impressed by what was said, including the aims and objectives of the CICC.”
Activities we intend to run include: Coffee Clubs, Kids Clubs, Fitness classes, Educational Classes, Going Green classes; which will be all about teaching children and adults the importance of recycling and caring for our planet.
The Colchester Muslim community is a growing and generous community, who believe in supporting the town in which we live. In addition to donating the full funds needed to purchase this property, we also extend our spirit of generosity across the community and continue to support other charities such as the Colchester Food Bank, to whom we have donated to on numerous occasions, including over £1,000 just this month.
We are really keen to reach out to the local community to bring us all together and hope we can build long lasting friendships and partnerships.