Broomhouse Community Hub


Completion Date:


Building owner/client:

The Broomhouse Centre

Architect or lead designer:

Russell Baxter Norr

Local Authority Area:


Nominating Body:

The Broomhouse Centre

Project Description

The physical capital project has involved the demolition of an existing community centre and the erection of a new single-story community centre on the same site. The new hub building contributes to The Broomhouse Centre trading as Space’s objectives to meet community-directed need and improve the lives of local people. The new facility will become financially sustainable and contributes to Broomhouse being a more vibrant place to live.
We believe that what has been created is a new purpose-built centre that will be a real anchor for the community and a catalyst for change. The new centre will be a busy hub of community activity.
The Broomhouse Centre trading as Space is a community development trust, run by local people, supporting community-led development in Broomhouse, Parkhead and Sighthill, which also serves a bigger footprint across SW Edinburgh and city-wide.
Between July 2018 and August 2019 the organisation embarked on building a brand new community hub to accommodate the various community projects through purpose-built, flexible space to more fully meet the needs of the community, beneficiaries, employees, volunteers and partners.
The existing building was a single storey structure of approximately 300sqm floor area. It was constructed in the 1950s and was originally a row of local shops. The footprint of the new building increased to 735sqm in order to provide suitable accommodation including a large flexible hall, café area, commercial kitchen, conference and meeting space, enterprise coworking space, artist studio for rent, beauty salon administration space, WCs, storage and plant area and community garden.
Economic outcomes–
• A sustainable community facility run by and with Broomhouse residents, improving their economic opportunities to reduce inequality and volunteer and contribute to the development of this local asset.
• Employability and training prospects via the community café and the social enterprise Space Kitchen, developing skills in a supportive vocational learning environment.
• Increased commercial income generation to ensure self-sustainability through catering services, soft play, & room hire suitable for conferences, seminars, training, weddings, parties, film nights that will stimulate local regeneration & community-based wealth creation.
Social outcomes-
• Increased capacity for young people’s counselling and befriending, young carers support.
• Better facilitate older people’s befriending, adult carers, carers clinic, and dementia support.
• Help to reduce isolation, and build social relationships of for people and families within the community,
Physical and Environmental outcomes-
• Bringing together small and disparate groups in the community and host numerous disengaged families.
• Increasing social cohesion and volume of community users, enhanced the capacity and number of rooms with more groups being able to use the centre at the same time
• Making our building a truly sustainable community owned space.

Th Hub is a community-owned and managed asset that responds to need. The main developments will be:
• Services aimed at the most disadvantaged in the community and those suffering from health inequalities, at the moment this is elderly people, those with dementia and young and adult carers
• Social Space, where local people can gather around the central café space
• Employment & Training rooted largely within catering

Supporting Statement

Research with the local community informed the plans to create a dynamic hub of activity where café, community services to vulnerable people, youth engagement, community events, social enterprise, employability and learning could be delivered in a place that re-energises residents of Broomhouse, improving health, well-being, employability, and aspiration.
In environmental terms the building has delivered a modern sustainable BREEAM Very Good, EPC A building.
This investment has enabled Space to move from having largely a service-delivery model offering support to highly disadvantaged people in the community (in a not-fit-for-purpose building) to a multi-purpose development trust, aiming to regenerate the whole community. The Broomhouse Hub is a vehicle to make this a better place to live and work for all, empowering the community to take control of the services and spaces that matter to them. Working with the local community and other stakeholders we have all been on this journey for some time and this is the culmination of that.
Broomhouse Centre provided regular updates to the community throughout the build keeping them informed of progress and this took the form of updates on the website, newsletters to individuals and community stakeholder partners and show and tell sessions in the temporary home.
Since opening in August regular open sessions have been held with the local community to come in and try the facilities.
The needs for the rebuild of the centre and the targets and objectives for social impact were all based on robust and detailed market research and user needs analysis undertaken initially in 2012 and then again during 2014/15.
There are many generic impacts we can highlights
- Economic benefits/outputs – skills and jobs
- Social benefits/ outputs - Social capital and sense of belonging of residents in the area is strengthened and less people move away for work or to access better family services. Young people have developed increased skills, confidence and self-esteem. Vulnerable older people receive a caring safety net, prolonging their ability to remain in their own homes and engage with the community. Intergenerational gap is better bridged as is the gap between those jobless and those in work, and between those not accessing support and those with special support needs. The hub’s ability to boost infrastructure for a more comprehensive and joined up support service for the most disadvantaged residents is greatly enhanced.
- Physical and Environmental benefits/ outputs – The Broomhouse Hub has transferred from Edinburgh Council and brought into the hands of the local community as an asset and
The purpose, or output, of this project was on two levels: it was to successful raise funds for, procure and deliver a new building and hub for the community of Broomhouse and wider area. On another level it is about regenerating and bringing cohesiveness and support to this community.
The impact of the new hub is already starting to be felt. In the half term in Edinburgh school holidays we provided 500 meals for families on free school meals from a diverse range of backgrounds.