Eastern Community Sport and Recreation will manage the Ascot Community Centre in QEII Park in a partnership with the Christchurch City Council.
The Waitai/Coastal-Burwood Community Board has approved the lease following a request for an expression of interest in community management of the public facility on the corner of Beach Road and Ascot Avenue.
A staff report to the Board recommends that Eastern Community Sport and Recreation “manage, activate and promote” the centre as a community facility on behalf of the Council for up to 20 years, with an annual $1 rent for the first five years.
Current centre users – including the popular pétanque club – will continue to use the space.
Eastern Community Sport and Recreation Board member Simon Hill says the centre is a “valuable asset” for the local community.
“We want to maintain the usage of current members, support them to grow their programmes, and expand the reach of this centre into the wider community,” he says.
“Eastern Sport is keen to hear from any group, individual or programme interested in working with us to extend community recreation, sport and programme offerings.”
Community Board Chairperson Kelly Barber says the lease decision highlights the Council’s long-term commitment to community partnerships and ongoing recognition of local expertise.
“Eastern Community Sport and Recreation has stepped up to manage the centre, underlining the importance of getting the community involved in using this space,” he says.
“The group’s local connections and ability to seek out other opportunities for QEII Park and the centre have all contributed to the decision.
“A connected community brings multiple benefits, and with these stronger Council-community partnerships we can boost the use of these great local assets.
“A positive contribution from the local community ensures more value for everybody.”
The Ascot Community Centre, which includes a function room and two smaller meeting rooms, is integral to the approved management plan for QEII Park.
The plan provides for the removal of the fence and vegetation between the park and the community centre to open up and integrate the spaces, including several pétanque terrains.
Established in 2000, Eastern Community Sport and Recreation delivers community programmes and services focusing on sports, activating spaces and engaging with clubs, schools and local groups to benefit the wider community.