The Pennine Rambler was a well-known pub situated on North Bransholme. In 2011 it was bought by friends of the youth-work charity BridgesHull in order to provide a space for youth work and other community initiatives. With help from many different sources Bridges were able to refurbish half of the building and open it for youth and community work.
At the end of 2013 Bodmin Road Church was beginning to consider the possibility of establishing new locations for its work across the Bransholme estate. The lead workers of BridgesHull, Tiffany and Nik Strode, have long been members of Bodmin Road Church, and the Pennine Rambler therefore presented itself as an obvious place for church to begin. Bridges were also keen for others to come alongside and share the building with them.
In the spring of 2014, and after discussion with Bridges trustees, it was agreed by all parties involved that the best way forward would be for church to buy the premises outright rather than just renting space. Bridges would remain a tenant organisation and continue to deliver youth-work, leaving church to look after the building and develop the other half of it.
Church launched a very successful fundraising campaign in the autumn of 2014, and after a long wait for the Council to process the lease transfer, the sale finally completed on June 5th 2015. Over the course of that time we were able to negotiate with Howdens Joinery the installation of a free kitchen area and Kingston Communications have installed a suite of computers so that we can provide drop-in online facilities. Our Centre Manager Iain Drysdale, funded by the Tudor Trust, started work on July 6th 2015.
Major refurbishment of the largest room and the toilets was completed in December 2016 and opened by our MP Diana Johnson, in January 2017. We hope to be starting our final Phase-2 renovation work on the “conservatory” section of the building in January 2019 – we have already been given £46,000 towards this work and await news (November 2018) from Biffa Awards regarding the rest. This work will finish the building, provide increased space, and enable us to extend and grow our work with children and young people.