Communities Minister pays visit to restoration of Cold War icon


Progress on restoration of a registered community asset, the Grade II-listed air traffic control tower at Greenham Common US Air Force base.

Communities Minister Stephen Williams today (27 November 2014) saw the progress being made on the innovative restoration of a registered community asset, the Grade II-listed air traffic control tower at the former United States Air Force base at Greenham Common, Berkshire.

Built in 1951, the control tower is an internationally significant Cold War icon. During the 1980s, the airfield became a focus for demonstrations by those opposed to the deployment of nuclear weapons and became known internationally for the nearby Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp.

After the site had been decommissioned in 1992 it fell into disrepair.

The control tower was listed as an Asset of Community Value in 2013 and later that year Greenham Common parish council purchased the site following the award of £421,555 in capital grant funding by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

The parish council, working in partnership with other local organisations, is now renovating and restoring the control tower to provide a visitors centre, café, viewing platform and exhibition space.

 

 

Greenham Common control tower being rennovated

 
Stephen Williams said:

The control tower at Greenham Common played a key role in our recent military past with the airbase itself becoming a site of division.

But rather than remain a relic of the Cold War, it’s great to see the structure reimagined and reused by local people using their community rights to create a community space that can be enjoyed by everybody.

Over the last 3 years, the Capital Grants fund has backed 23 organisations with almost £10 million of capital grants to undertake transformative projects.

Millions of people across England are now benefitting from community rights. Community rights allow local communities to come together to protect places they care about against sell off, as well as create neighbourhood plans to decide on new local developments which deliver local jobs and improved services.

The total number of uses of the rights has now hit 3,000, with more than 1,500 much-loved buildings, assets and green spaces listed and 1,200 neighbourhood plans well underway.

To find your nearest use of community rights check out our interactive map.

Further information

Greenham Common was requisitioned during World War 2 to use as an RAF and USAF airbase.

During the 1980s, the airfield became a focal point for demonstrations by those opposed to the deployment of nuclear weapons and became known internationally for the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp.

In 1997 the airbase was purchased by Greenham Common Trust and sold to West Berkshire council for £1, under an agreement which ensured that the land be put to community use.

Greenham Common parish council received £421,555 in capital grant funding from DCLG in 2013 to 2014 to purchase Greenham Common control tower. The grants are administered by the Social Investment Bureau. Visit their website for more information.

Community rights are enshrined in law by the Localism Act 2011. The first rights came into force on 6 April 2012.

If you want to find out how to get more involved in your community visit theMy Community Rights website.

For some further great case studies of communities taking control see ourPinterest board.


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