Blackbird Leys Community Centre Engagement Winter/Spring 2024

As we begin the new year, Oxford City Council, together with Transition by Design (local community engagement specialists), are excited to share about upcoming community engagement events for the new Blackbird Leys Community Centre as the design process continues into 2024.

We want to ensure that current residents of the Leys play a key role in shaping the design of their local community centre. The design is to meet Inclusive Design standards and is to be accessed and used by as many people as possible, regardless of age, gender, and disability. Therefore, we would love to hear from everybody across the Leys and beyond throughout this design stage. Below are two images outlining the programme of events across January to March.

Saturday 16th March 2024:

  • Public Exhibition at The Barn
    There will be a public exhibition to display most up-to-date community centre design on Saturday 16th March 2024. This event will be between 12-3pm at the The Barn, Nightingale Avenue.

Saturday 10th February 2024:

Join us for an exciting community gathering on Saturday 10th February, 12 pm – 3:30pm in Blackbird Leys!

Here’s what is happening on the day:

  • 🖼️ Mural Painting at Blackbird Leys Community Centre
    Collaborate with MES Creations, come help create a vibrant mural outside the community centre site.
  • 🍴Public Exhibition with Food at The Barn
    Explore a public exhibition showing the most up-to-date community centre design and enjoy delicious food by Dutch n Such.
  • 🛼Roller Skating at Fry’s Hill Park
    Experience family fun with all-age roller skating hosted by Active on 8.
  • 🎶Music at Blackbird Leys Community Centre
    Listen to local musicians and youth performers in collaboration with Inspire Sounds.

Save the date and make it a day of community engagement and enjoyment! We look forward to seeing you there.

Upcoming events:

  • There will be an online engagement event to hear about the latest design of the community centre, gather feedback and ask questions about the project. This meeting has been postponed to early March and we will update this page with further details as soon as possible. The meeting will be held on Zoom.
  • We will be hosting a workshop for young women and girls (aged 11-19) on Wednesday 21st February between 4-6pm at the Jungle Art Gallery, Templars Square, OX4 3XX.
  • There will be a public exhibition to display the planning application design on Saturday 16th March 2024. This event will be between 12-3pm at the The Barn, Nightingale Avenue.
  • As well as the above, we are also holding user group and key stakeholder workshops and attending local community events to raise awareness and gather feedback

Past events (January 2024):

  • We hosted a building visit to the Bullingdon Community Centre on Saturday 20th January 2023. Where we met between 10am-11:30am for a tour guided by the project architects (Jessop & Cook) who are also on the design team for the new Blackbird Leys Community Centre. We had a great visit, gaining some inspiration from the building and some ideas to consider for the new community centre.
  • We met with local and Parish Councillors together with the wider project team on Tuesday 23rd January to discuss progress on the community engagement and community centre designs to date.
  • Transition by Design and Oxford City Council were at the Blackbird Leys Community Larder on Wednesday 24th January between 12-2pm at the Leys Pool and Leisure Centre, Blackbird Leys. It was a good opportunity to meet familiar faces and continue to share about the ongoing engagement.
  • We ran youth engagement workshops at the Friday Youth Sessions on Friday 26th January. There was a session for 11-14 year olds from 6-7:30pm and a session for 15-19 year olds between 7:30-9pm. Both of these were in the sports hall at the Leys Pools and Leisure, Blackbird Leys. We collaborated with the youth ambition team at Oxford City Council for this event. It was great to hear the thoughts of young people who live across the Leys.
  • We were at the FriendLeys seniors group on Tuesday 30th January between 12-2pm at the Venue @ Cowley, Barns Road to share about the deisgn and gather feedback. We heard a range of different ideas and thoughts for the design team to consider as we continue in the design process.

Consultation forms

There is an online consultation form available for anyone to fill in to express their thoughts on the new Blackbird Leys Community Centre. We want to ensure that anyone is able to complete a consultation form, therefore we will also have paper copies available to collect and return to at community engagement events If you would prefer to give feedback over the phone this can be arranged leaving a voicemail on 01865 959 571 and we will call you back or you can email [email protected]

Future engagement

The submission of the planning application in Spring 2024 is a milestone but will not be the end of the community engagement. Oxford City Council and Transition by Design will continue to engage the community of people in the Leys and beyond through further events. There will still be a technical design stage which will involve more detailed input from community members as the project team develop the designs.

.You can keep up to date through following Oxford City Council social media channels (TwitterFacebookInstagram) or Transition by Design’s updates page.

Photograph of post-it notes of ideas taken at the first user group workshop on 14th November 2023

Engagement context

To date, Transition by Design have held several events to date which you can read about including engaging local residents, key stakeholder, user groups, young people and community groups in the Leys. We have recruited a Leys Community Review Panel, who are a diverse group of 11 residents of the Leys, who will meet with the design team at three key stages prior to the planning submission. If you would like to contact Transition by Design or have further questions then please get in touch with Transition by Design at [email protected]. You can find out more about the community centre and the wider Blackbird Leys District Centre and Knights Road redevelopment project through our website here.