The campaign to save Southville’s much loved Faithspace building has ramped up in recent weeks as a six month moratorium preventing its sale draws to an end tomorrow.
Faithspace is a former Methodist church in Stackpool Road in Southville, which has been used for community activities for many years. The venue was closed down a year ago and is now boarded up and starting to deteriorate. The local community are campaigning for Faithspace to be retained for local community use, rather than just sold to the highest bidder.
Over 700 local residents have signed a petition calling for the Faithspace to be retained for community use and local residents, children and councillors marched together to the Full Council meeting last Tuesday to show their strength of feeling.
One of Southville’s Green Councillors, Stephen Clarke said:
“Community space is the life blood of an area and Southville desperately needs Faithspace to remain as an asset for the community here. Despite the population of Southville growing by over 20% in the ten years between 2002 and 2012, we now have considerably less space for use by the community than we had then; this is terrible for community cohesion. The whole community appeals to the council to help us!”
Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett visited Faithspace earlier this month to add her voice to the campaign to save the community building.
Green Councillor Charlie Bolton, who accompanied her, said:
“We have seen the strength of feeling among those in Southville, who are all calling for the Methodists not to merely sell the site to the highest bidder. 100 people came together to attach hearts to the former church in a love-bomb, and residents attended the last Full Council meeting en masse to call for the Mayor to intervene in any way he can.”
“As the six month moratorium preventing the building being flogged on the open market comes to an end, it is even more important that we work out a way forward to protect this vital community space.”
The visit from Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party followed many months of campaigning from Southville’s Green councillors. Councillor Bolton submitted statements of support last winter, and he and Councillor Clarke have lobbied the mayor, assistant mayor and officers to take all possible steps to support the community in their campaign to save this community space.