Share this article share on facebook icon share on twitter icon

the millAt the recent meetings about reviving Palmers Green town centre a suggestion made from the floor was that PG needs a "community hub".

So what might a community hub look like?

A couple of months ago I visited Social Spider, the community interest company that, among other things, publishes the Enfield Dispatch. Their offices are near St James St Station in Walthamstow, in a building called The Mill.

The Mill is a perfect example of one possible type of community hub. Its promotional leaflet describes it as "Walthamstow's living room - a home from home for everyone", and that's exactly what it felt like being there.

This video of a day in the life of the Mill gives you a flavour of what it's all about.

The Mill is run by volunteers and hosts a varied programme of events and groups.  Additionally, rooms can be hired out for parties, training sessions, workshops, meetings, support groups and consultation events.

This video tells the story of how it came about and some of the ways in which it brings the community together - people from different heritages and different generations.

logoOur Vision is of a strong local community where people love to live, and know and care for their neighbours.

Our Mission is to provide a welcoming, positive, accessible and inclusive space at the heart of Walthamstow, and work with the local community to make things happen.

Our Values are at the heart of everything we do:

  • We’re for everyone: We welcome everyone. We believe that everyone has a role to play and skills to share. We believe in reflecting the balance of abilities and passions in our community.
  • We believe in people: We believe in the unique capacities and passions that individuals bring and work with them to make their ideas happen.
  • We focus on local community: We love our local area and trust the community to shape and know how to develop its potential.
  • We believe in the power of creativity: Imagination and creativity can help people to see things differently, express themselves and inspire others.
The Mill came about because local people were upset to see the building that had been their local library empty and forlorn. There are several buildings close to Palmers Green Triangle that are also empty and looking increasingly forlorn. Might one of them be suitable for our own community hub and do we have people with the vision and energy to make it into one? I think the answer to both questions is Yes.


Welcome to The Mill

Log in to comment

PGC Webmaster's Avatar
PGC Webmaster posted a reply #4824 09 Oct 2019 19:40
The article about taking the Mill in Walthamstow as a possible model for a PG "community hub" has been picked up on Twitter.

@EnfieldDispatch tweeted: "Lovely article from @PGCommunity about the potential benefits of creating a 'community hub' in Palmers Green, using the example of the fabulous @TheMillE17 - which just happens to also be the home of our publishers Social Spider!"

@bradburymark responded "Looking into how we might achieve something similar is certainly on the list for a Town Centre Action plan for Palmers Green being developed with support from @PGCommunity and others."

Mark Bradbury is Enfield Council's Director of Property & Economy.

Colin Younger's Avatar
Colin Younger posted a reply #4825 09 Oct 2019 20:46
Of course, the original community group concept, after the Town Hall was sold off, was that Broomfield House should be rebuilt for exactly for this purpose.
David Eden's Avatar
David Eden posted a reply #4830 10 Oct 2019 16:51
Doesn't make any money though, that idea. Just another hole in local public finances.
Karl Brown's Avatar
Karl Brown posted a reply #4835 11 Oct 2019 12:52
It would be interesting to know what the present Broomfield House intent is as part of the shell concept (beyond the cafe).

We've a few sort of hubs locally, eg PG library, RWC, Fox Lane Burford Centre plus more cafe's than coffee in Brazil. Sensibly, the location of any such "super-hub" would then need consideration, assuming there was an option, for the length of PG high street - Yasar Halim to Starfish - is the same as Oxford Street, from Oxford Circus to Marble Arch. That perhaps puts quite a few community-hub type difficulties into some perspective, not least which geographic community.
PGC Webmaster's Avatar
PGC Webmaster posted a reply #4840 16 Oct 2019 18:30
The Palmers Green Action Team have joined the online conversation about the idea of a community hub for PG possibly along the lines of Walthamstow's Mill. This is from their Facebook page:

Community Hub ? There have been pockets of local conversation about community centres that have been popping up all over London and the UK. A very successful example is @themille17 in neighbouring Walthamstow; a local space for meet ups, classes, spaces for hire - a true place for the community to come together. In Hornsey, the space they are creating also offers co-working opportunities. Food for thought. So would we like something like this in PG? What would you like to see? How would you use it? What do we need? Let us know your views and we can collate, feedback and share them! #community #local #london #palmersgreen Thanks to @themille17 for the ? of The Mill - it’s wonderful.