Community spirit: The Larks in the Parks event came back to the Marlborough Pavilion site in Sopwell in 2019.
Sopwell ward is among one of the most disadvantaged areas in St Albans. It’s home to 7,500 residents, many of whom live in the Cottonmill estate, which was built after the Second World War. Despite being in the affluent city of St Albans, Sopwell has two Super Output Areas (SOAs)/sub-ward areas (17A and B) that are in the 40% most deprived in England. Both of these SOAs are located in the Cottonmill Estate.
Many indicators in Sopwell are lower than the district average. It has one of the highest rates of people with no qualifications, unemployment, residents reporting their day-to-day activities are limited, self-reported bad and very bad health, and the lowest life expectancies.
In addition, Sopwell has a diverse population, and has a large Bangladeshi community, yet it lacks inclusive community facilities, many of which have been lost over the years. Unlike most other St Albans estates, there is no dedicated community building, no social club, no library, no central pub, very few shops and a limited bus service.
Our new community centre will play a central role in delivering activities and services that will benefit our local community, reduce isolation, bringing people together with a facility that can be used to support the health and well-being of all our residents.