Community and Cycling Centre

Environmentally friendly

The environmentally sustainable building includes solar panels; heat pump; and green roof to reduce the carbon footprint of the building and reduce ongoing energy bills. At the core of the centre’s ethos will be to encourage travel to the centre by foot and bike.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


A community cafe will provide somewhere to meet up with friends, old and new. There will be small rooms for hire, that can be turned into one large venue.

Halls can be used for celebrations, workshops, yoga, dance, films; youth activities and things to do for adults too.

There will be community kitchen with facilities for cooking. So people can cook for events, or for food sharing. There is a Changing Places toilet to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities. There are Wudu washing faciliities too, and sports changing rooms.

All ability cycling facilities

Verulam Cycling Club have worked with the project to develop an amazing vision for cycling facilities/ activities to encourage young and old, newcomers and experienced cyclists, and all-abilities to have access to cycling – with ‘all-ability’ bikes too!

  • Cycling and other indoor/outdoor fitness/sports.
  • Cycle workshop and hub for repairs, training and support
  • New pump track for BMX and more
  • Cyclo-cross track! Safe, traffic-free, off-road environment
  • Focal point for the cycling community, linking to the Alban Way (popular with families and leisure cyclists)
  • Training facility for local cycling and triathlon clubs
  • Off-road cycling events and races

Photo by Coen van de Broek on Unsplash

Sopwell Community Trust

Sopwell Community Trust are engaged with the project, to ensure we have an all-inclusive community facility – somewhere for youngsters to go, and youth clubs to flourish, a meeting place for young people and families.

SCT have been keenly involved in the designs for the new centre to ensure that all the community will feel welcome.

SCT are a local community engagement charity developing youth projects, food rescue, food sharing, tech rescue/sharing and more.

Photo credit: SCT

Cottonmill and Sopwell Hub campaign

Cottonmill and Sopwell Hub campaign started in 2018, raising a 1,000 strong petition to St Albans District council for a new community centre.

3/4 years later, after many meetings in living rooms, council offices, local cafes and zoom, with the backing and support across the community, the new building is finally being built.

The group carried out resident surveys, consultations, talks with local groups, and lobbied the council which responded positively to the communities’ wishes.

Photo credit: CASH

Design of the Centre


A group consisting of council officers, councillors, Cottonmill and Sopwell Hub, Verulam Cycling Club, Sopwell Community Centre and the local scouts worked over months to develop the inclusive design.

Community Cafe/Kitchen

Residents were clear from the beginning that a community cafe was one of their main wishes. They also wanted a kitchen that could be used to cook for events, or for food for the community.

Being outdoors

Young and old need things to do and places to go outside. The green space will include the existing football pitch and Multi-use enclosed games area as well as the cycling tracks.

Did you know that Sopwell is one of the most disadvantaged wards in the district?

Our vision is for the creation of a thriving community hub that would be a great social and leisure asset to both Sopwell residents and the wider community. We have listened to what people want this centre to provide and will continue to work with community groups to deliver these aspirations as the project progresses.

The improvement of the cycling facilities could greatly benefit Verulam Cycling Club, visiting cycle groups and individual recreational cyclists. This leisure and health aspect of the project is very much in keeping with our commitment to encourage green transport and environmental sustainability.

Cllr Robert Donald, 2020 – Portfolio Holder for Property, Commercial and Development for St Albans City and District