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July 2021 Update

planning approved

It’s hard to imagine that after three years campaigning, with all the support of many local community groups and residents, this summer 2021, we can now see the first designs of the new community hub, and planning permission has been approved!


Cottonmill and Sopwell Hub (CASH), is a resident-led group working in partnership with St Albans District Council (SADC) to provide a long-promised and much-needed community centre at the Marlborough Pavilion site in Sopwell ward.

Facilities like the Sopwell Youth Club and the King Offa pub have been lost over recent years and we plan to put something back!

Our petition in 2018, asking SADC to work with us, had an amazing response with over 1000 residents signing it. Several years later, with dedicated support from the council the hard work of actually building the centre can really begin!


Our growing team of volunteers continue to engage with the local community to identify needs and wishes, gain support and move the project on. Next steps are to explore funding, form solid partnerships with local groups and research facility options.

Janet presentingpic
Janet Charles presenting the petition to St Albans District Council full council meeting


We intend to fund this project through grants, crowdfunding and local council and business support. Large funders like The Big Lottery, Sports England and other large trusts ideally want to see applications from groups working in solid partnerships with local council, residents, other community groups and with some local business backing.

heartwordcloudpic.What Next?

Talks with St Albans District Council are ongoing, and researching the facilities required are in progress.

Visit with St Albans council to see the buildings at Batchwood


In 2018 and 2019 we visited other centres e.g. Fleetville Community Centre and Hampson Park Community Centre in Stevenage;  Watford and Leavesden Cycling Hubs and Batchwood Sports Centre. We thought that combining a sports facility with a community hub would be a positive way forward. This would create more options for physical activity for both young people and adults, work towards a healthy Sopwell, and be an additional ‘draw’ for locals.

Cafe and Indoor Space

We believe that a café with outdoor area will attract young families. We know that we need good quality indoor space for e.g. toddlers play groups, and youth club provision. We would like to offer space for other groups e.g. Repair Shed for older, isolated men, and the local Food Bank, as well as generic community provision and activity classes.


To get involved or receive updates on our progress, follow us on social media or contact us here

Photography Credits

Barry Block Malborough Club imageWebsite photos credits:

Marlborough site aerial view: Barry Block, Marlborough Trails.

All other website photos are attributed to Cottonmill and Sopwell Hub unless otherwise stated.