Sunningmead Community Centre.

In July 1999, we officially opened as Sunningmead Community Centre. The Sunningmead Community Association was set up to raise funds and purchase the old school site in Lazenby Road.

Since that date the Community Centre has relied heavily on contributions of funding and invaluable volunteer time to be able to offer an exciting timetable throughout the year.

The Community Centre is based in the old Sunningmead Primary School site and has a range of rooms offering various activities and events.  We also have large outdoor grounds.

Further down you can read some of the stories and articles that map out the journey of the Community Centre and how it became the diverse and busy community hub that it is today.

Cafe area 2

Our Committee Members

Mark Rattenberry (Chair and Temporary Treasurer)
Steve Bush (Vice Chair)
Post Vacant (Secretary)

Committee Members:
Joyce Bryant (Honorary Member)
Jim Haggerty
Anne Kilshaw
Pam Owens
Janet Searle
Karina Southgate
Wendy Kilshaw
Jennifer Prowse

Centre Manager

Roy Aldis

Centre Telephone Number: 01884 251147


Mission Statement

The Sunningmead Community Association has been set up in order:

“To promote the benefit of the local people, without discrimination of sex, sexual orientation, race or of political, religious or other opinions; by maintaining and managing a community centre together with the local people, the local authorities, voluntary and other organisations.  In order to advance education and to provide facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and leisure time occupation with the object of improving the conditions of life for the local people.”

Main purposes

a) To provide services to the local residents, giving priority to those activities and services identified as priorities by the local community.

  • These services have been identified as follows (in priority order)
  • Provision of facilities for Young People, including out of school schemes, drop-in advice and youth clubs.
  • Provision of facilities for Pre-School children, including playgroup, créche and under 5 safe play areas.
  • Provision of facilities for Senior Citizens, including luncheon Club, drop-in advice and Day Centre.
  • Provision for adult training.
  • Provision for clubs, day and evening.
  • Provision for functions and other activities.

b) To provide services to other service organisations, voluntary groups and charitable organisations, which will be to the benefit of but not to the exclusion of local residents.

Our Facilities

Our centre is open

Weekdays: Open daily 9am – 11pm for activities and bookings.

Saturdays: Open for Community Events, Private Bookings, Parties etc.

Sundays: Hall and Room Bookings from 11am – 6pm


  • Hall, comfortable for up to 70 / 80 people, less if Bouncy Castle is also booked (40)
  • Meeting Room, available for up to 12 / 15 people
  • Training Rooms, suitable for up to 20 /25 people
  • Café/Bar Area, suitable for up to 45 people


Check out the Calendar for details of other regular bookings and also see when it’s available for booking.

News and History of Sunningmead Community Centre

Below is a summary of some of the news stories and updates since the Centre began.

In the centre one of our amazing volunteers has compiled some folders which document the history with press cuttings, letters, meeting minutes and more.

Do call in and have a browse through.

10th birthday celebrations
10th birthday celebrations

Tenth Birthday bash for Community Centre.

Sunningmead Community Centre in Tiverton marked it’s tenth anniversary on Saturday with a lively celebration.

Despite bad weather, hundreds of people enjoyed an afternoon of free entertainment, activities and displays, including music by Tiverton Town Band.

The Mayor of Tiverton, Cllr Paul Graham, opened the event by cutting a celebration cake made by the Exeter probation team, which does community service work at the centre.

Community Association chairman Anne Kilshaw thanked people for their strong support which had allowed the centre to develop over the past ten years.

She also thanked the many volunteers past and present for their time and work, without which the centre could not provide services and activities.

The occasion also marked the completion of a new roof for the community centre following a year and a half of fundraising to find the £50,000 required.

Claire Stride, a director of Uffculme Environmental ltd, handed over a plaque to commemorate £25,000 the company had given towards the project.

Anne Kilshaw thanked her and the other funders, particularly the community Council of Devon and the Cloth Workers’ Foundations.

Wilcombe Primary School singers sang a number of lively songs and Tidcombe School provided a colourful art display.

Volunteer Karina Wins Award – October 21, 2003

Voluntary worker Karina Southgate was the proud winner of a Millennium Award for racking up more than 200 hours voluntary service.

She is pictured here helping three year old Courtney King at a family Arts and Crafts workshop at the Sunningmead Community Centre n Tiverton.

volunteers award October 2003
volunteers award October 2003
pc for community centre
pc for community centre

PC for Community Centre April 6th 2001

Sunningmead Community Centre in Tiverton has been awarded an internet-ready PC and one year’s access to the internet by BT Community Connections, a UK wide award scheme helping local communities access the world wide web.  the centre will come online at the end of April, after judges were impressed with the ideas put forward by local residents as to why they wanted the computer.  Sunningmead chairman Anne Kilshaw said “We are absolutely thrilled with our award.  The use of an internet ready computer will greatly benefit the local community, giving the facility of internet access to all who come to the centre.”

BT project manager Jason Mann said “this year long scheme aims to give to as many people as possible access to the internet and allows groups to develop their projects using easier and more effective methods.”

Cash Boost for Community Centre – The Star – September 15th 2000

The Sunningmead Community Association in Tiverton is celebrating another lottery windfall, this time for £156,650.

The award from the charities board follows a previous grant of £275,285, which enabled the Association to purchase the community centre in Lazenby Road.

The new money will be used to employ a full time volunteer coordinator for three years.  The worker will be responsible for providing advice and support to local volunteers and to help get the projects at the centre off the ground.

Money is also being made available for a full time receptionist/clerical worker, so the centre can be open all the time, and to increase the hours of the centre manager, Lindy Booth, who is credited with its success to date.

Jane Kilty, secretary of the association said, “This will make a tremendous difference to the centre and will mean a lot more can happen for local residents. There are so many good ideas put forward for people about things that could happen but to date it has been difficult to put them all into practice.  Having someone dedicated to supporting local people’s ideas, will help to make things happen.”

The centre has been open for just over a year and has had 2500 people attending various activities.

it is regularly used by the youth club, and for line dancing, ballroom dancing, yoga, scrabble and bingo meetings.  Pool, table football and table tennis are available for general use and the hall can be hired for functions.  There are also other rooms that can be hired for meetings and training courses.

Jane said the National Lottery grant can only be spent on salaries and as a result of this the association still needs to raise funds to help keep the centre up and running.

“Volunteers are always welcomed at the centre and now there is money to pay for child care and respite care if required.  There is also training available for volunteers to increase their skills and experience so if you have never thought of being a volunteer before, then now is the ideal time to do it.”

newspaper cutting, open for business
open for business

Sunningmead Community Centre “Open for Business” – June 13th 2000

“Come and see us” – that is the message from the Sunningmead Community Centre in Lazenby Road, Tiverton.

“The local community has a wonderful resource here – it is up to them to use it.” said centre manager Lindy Booth, “We are over our teething problems and are open for business.   There is huge potential for far more use, it is only being used up to a fraction of it’s potential at the moment.”

Mrs Booth, who is being paid to work at the centre for 18 hours a week, said that the initiative to stage events must come from the local people.

“We do put on social events like the summer fete but we are here as a community resource and want people in Tiverton and surrounding areas to use the centre to put on their own events.”

The centre, a former school, opened just under a year ago with the aid of a £185,000 Lottery grant.

During the winter, heating problems meant some activities had to be put on hold but now the heating is back up to scratch, thanks to a £16,000 repair job.

“We are going forward slowly but surely and are moving towards being self financing.” Said Mrs Booth, who handles the day to day running of the centre backed up by a committee of nine.

The centre boasts a main hall, which is large enough for 250 people, an industrial sized kitchen as well as several smaller rooms.  Many facilities, including pool, table football and table tennis are available for use by small groups at a nominal charge.

There is a large playing field area with the tarmac itch and basketball facilities where Mrs Booth hopes to stage training courses with Mid Devon District Council coaching staff in the future.

Home Start Mid Devon, the Prince’s Trust and Sunny Days Nursery all have permanent offices in the building.

Centre Plea For Volunteers

Tiverton’s newest community centre is getting off the ground – but volunteers are needed to run it.

Sunningmead Community Centre in Lazenby Road, is due to open at the end of July.

About 50 local residents turned up at a meeting last week to suggest activities and groups to set up at the centre.

The meeting was addressed by chairman Anne Kilshaw, secretary Jane Kilty and centre manager Lindy Booth.  “It was a very positive meeting” said Ms Booth.  “We recruited a new treasurer, and some local musicians decided to form a music group.  There were lots of offers of help, including gardening, and we’re already recruiting for our summer programme.”

Tiverton High teenagers are hoping to run an athletics group at the centre, and local primary schools have also been invited to take part in various activities.

“We would like some volunteers to work with children of various ages.” said Ms Booth.

A special volunteer day will be organised to celebrate the centre’s opening and attract extra helpers.  “We would like to emphasise that the centre belongs to local residents, and they have to help us run it.”

The centre’s tearoom will be brightened up with an 8ft mural by Tiverton artist Dudley Weatherley. Mr Weatherley, of Crowden Crescent, painted the 8fy by 5ft 6in mural on hardboard, and will put it in place in July.

It depicts a horse drawn barge coming through Snake Wood on the Grand Western Canal, and fits in with the tea room’s theme – The Barge.

plea for volunteers newspaper cutting
plea for volunteers
keys handed over
keys handed over

Community Centre Keys Handed Over – Feb 1999

It’s finally happened! The keys to the old Sunningmead school in Tiverton have been handed over to campaigners for the new community centre, paving the way for a superb new resource for residents in the Canal and Wilcombe areas of town.

the Sunningmead Community Project, whose members have been fundraising to stop the school being demolished for the past 2 years – were handed the keys on Monday after winning a £275,000 bid to the National Lotteries Charity Board to convert the building into a great facility for people of all ages.

Now a programme of activities is being drawn up with priority being given to those most demanded through a recent survey.

# Read more on this story and others in the Archive Folders located in the Community Centre.