May 22, 2024

Couple’s big plans to create an exciting new future for community hub in Ruthin

community centre in Llanfwrog; Paul and Katie Edwards. Picture Mandy Jones

An all action husband and wife team are breathing new life into an important community hub in Ruthin.

Paul and Katie Edwards have big plans for their new business venture after taking over the tenancy of The Centre in the Llanfwrog area of the town.

The main building is at the heart of a sports complex which also includes football pitches, a golf driving range, footgolf, tennis courts and crown green bowling.

Personal trainer Paul has been holding fitness classes there for the past eight years.

He and Katie are now on a mission to reinvigorate The Centre after Covid caused a big downturn in its fortunes.

The couple, who have two children,  have received a ringing endorsement from the Pendine Arts and Community Trust (PACT) which was established to support arts and community activities by Mario Kreft MBE and his wife, Gill, the owners of the Pendine Park care organisation, who live down the road in Denbigh.

The site, including the building, is owned by a community interest company, the Llanfwrog Community Association, and leased to Denbighshire County Council, with the various sporting activities being operated by different tenants.

Paul said: “I was a bit sceptical when we were first offered the chance to take over the main hub of the site but, after thinking about it, I realised that we could hopefully unlock  the potential to develop The Centre to get the place buzzing again.

“We have a licensed bar and can provide catering so it’s perfect to hire for a whole range of functions, from Christenings, weddings, funeral teas and children’s parties, as well as classes of all descriptions.

“We’ve already got a new mother and toddler group meeting here every week and there is scope to develop the café here which can also be used by people taking part in the various sports happening on site.

“Part of our role is managing 16 allotments which are rented out annually to local gardeners of the public as well as the community garden that is open to the  public.

“As well as training around 40 individual clients, Paul has 200 or so people coming to his classes at The Centre every week.

“There are also meeting rooms and conferencing facilities upstairs so is a community hub in the true sense of word.

“We’re hugely grateful to Mario and Gill for supporting us and helping us to promote our venture via PACT.”

It was a sentiment endorsed by wife Katie, who works part time for a children’s mental health charity.

She said: “The Centre suffered quite a bit during Covid and I think things fell and people forgot what brilliant facilities we have here.

“We’re within walking distance from Ruthin and we have a woodland area and benches as well as the café which is currently unmanned most of the time with vending machines for drinks and snacks.

“There’s lots for all the family to do, including a little climbing frame and a play area for children, so you can come and have a picnic and meet your friends.

“We want to try to do some family fun evenings and things like that, provide some entertainment and get everyone down here.

“We just need to get The Centre back on the map so that people know we’re here.”

Rod Bowden, a trustee of the Llanfwrog Community Association, was delighted that Paul and Katie had taken over the tenancy of The Centre.

He said: “We got hammered during Covid and but for the grants from the local authority we would have gone under.

“But things are looking up and we’re delighted that Paul and Katie are now running The Centre and are bringing new ideas and energy to give it a sustainable future.

“There’s great potential here and this is a new beginning.”

Gill Kreft wished Paul and Katie all the best in getting the new venture off the ground.

She said: “Like Paul and Katie’s business, Pendine is very much a community focused organisation and what they are aiming to achieve here chimes perfectly with our ethos because health and wellbeing enriches lives.

“I am sure that, thanks to the verve, drive and commitment being shown by Paul and Katie, that The Centre will once again provide a heartbeat  for the whole community in this part of the Vale of Clwyd.”

Anybody wanting to hire the centre should contact Paul and Katie by emailing them at  [email protected] or by ringing them on 07900 977364