Express & Star

Walsall community centre set to undergo refurb

A community centre in Blakenall is set for a £1.3 million makeover, with work due to start in December 2024.


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Palace Play Shop Eat on Blakenall Row secured funding from Walsall Council’s Towns Fund and New Horizons Community Enterprise.

The money will see the building transformed to meet the current and future needs of the surrounding community.

The project, run by Bloxwich Community Partnership, has been home to an inflatable play area, an alternative education provision for teenagers, a food bank, POP Health and Wellbeing service for young adults and a charity shop offering school uniforms, children’s toys and household items.

It’s been at its current site for 15 years and staff say the project has now outgrown the building.

The extension will increase capacity to better deliver services to the community, the work is expected to be completed by this time next year.

To make way for the refurb, the inflatable play area has closed and the charity shop has reduced in size.

Services such as food bank vouchers, community support and the alternative education provision will continue but at alternative premises.

Eleanor Boycott, CEO of Bloxwich Community Partnership, said: “It was built in the 80s, it was fit for purpose and served the community’s needs at the time.

"The community has moved on and the way we deliver services has changed. We’re making the best use of the building we’ve got but we recognise it could be better.

“This is a deprived community. We want to send the message to the community that they are worth it, they are worth good quality facilities.

"We’re sending a message saying they are worth it to raise aspirations and the feel within the community.”

The new building will boast a new youth area, improved toilet facilities, access to kitchen facilities for young people, and soft play with a capacity of 80-100 people.

The charity shop will be smaller, making room for dedicated community rooms offering one-to-one support.

Mike Brice, chief executive of New Horizons Community Enterprise, said: “From the outside looking in, on face value, the results of the project have been a fantastic success.

"When you’re here every day, you take it for granted having a local place where people can feel valued and build confidence.”

For further updates on the refurb and services offered at Bloxwich Community Partnership, head to the Palace Play Shop Eat Facebook page at

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