History of the original Community Centre located at the top of Abbey Road on the land adjacent to the “ash path”

At the end of the war as a token of their appreciation and friendship of Whitley residents the American Armed Forces funded it's re erection as a Community Centre. After extensive work on 12th May 1949 Whitley Community Centre opened with an inaugural concert.

Initially Whitley Primary School used the centre extensively for assemblies and dinner rooms, but when the school was re-built it resumed exclusive use by the Community Association, being totally self-funding.
Councillor Harry Weston was the President of the Association and presided over many applications to use the hall which included: -
Coventry communist party, Townswomen’s guild, 74th Scout Group, East division Labour Party, Keep Fit etc, & it also became a City Library Centre.

Subsequently a sprung Dance floor was laid, and the lounge partition re-located & the Luncheon Club discontinued

Whitley Abbey Comprehensive School

Later the centre was hired by Whitley Abbey Comprehensive School, which with other Community activities continued until its demise including: -

Monday afternoon: -                    Comprehensive School music lessons
Monday evening: -                      Old time / Modern Sequence Dancing (50people)
Tues morning: -               Comprehensive School music lessons
Tues afternoon: -             Tea Dance (50people)
Tues evening: -                Library 5.00 pm – 7.45pm followed by Sewing and
Handicraft (26people)
Wed evening: -                Ladies Keep Fit (36 people)
Thurs afternoon: -            Senior Citizen Meeting – various activities (35) followed by Whitley Ladies Association (usually Handicrafts)
Thurs evening: -              Whitley Ladies Association Choir (50)
Fri evenings: -                  Judo training (30) – Once a month-Old Time
Supper Dance (up to 86)
Sat morning: -                  Junior Tap and Ballet  (40 +)

Additional various activities held in the Lounge included: -
Allotment Assoc
Management committee
Councillor’s Surgeries and other Groups
Community Barn Dances
Silver Wedding Celebration/Birthday Parties/Wedding Receptions


On 31st July 1984, the community centre was damaged by fire and closed, and on 21st August 1984 it was agreed, at an Education and Planning meeting, that due to the unsafe nature of the building it should be demolished.
Despite a campaign, for nearly 2 years, to have the community centre rebuilt it was demolished
on the 22nd of April 1986, and in 1994 the Right of Access to Alice Stevens, Whitley Abbey Primary and Whitley Abbey Comprehensive were given to Whitley Residents at any time.

History of the Existing Community Centre located at 15, The Avenue.

After the demise of the community centre the Residents Association was offered free use of the facilities at the Whitley Private Members Club (in the Avenue), for over 10 years, which effectively becoming “Whitley Community Centre” until it closed in May ‘04 for residential development of the 1.17 acre site
This prompted over 1000 names on a petition objecting to the closure owing to
the large number of local people involved with the Club including: -

 Whitley Pensioners club
Cheylesmore Photography Club
Baginton Field’s school
Coventry homes (adults with learning difficulties)
Air ambulance
Quinton park playgroup
Willenhall boxing club
London Rd allotments
Whitley Fishing club
Whitley Golf society
M.P’s surgery
Bankside, New Houses & Whitley Residents Associations
Neighbourhood watch
Two local football teams were sponsored by the club.

10 May 2005

Planning approval was granted for the redevelopment of the site of the former Whitley Social Club. As a result of the intensive work by the Association’s Chairman and Vice Chairman, supported by the Ward Councillors, George Wimpey’s application for 48 apartments was refused, based on no Community Facility

Would they go to appeal?  That was a serious concern to the Association for many weeks, but in January ‘05 George Wimpy got in touch with the Association requesting a meeting to discuss their objections to the proposed development. This took place on the 10th of February ‘05 and further meetings took place but the proposed community facility as part of the ground floor of a three-storey block, although adequate should not be incorporated in a block of apartments.

In July ‘05 Wimpy presented a revised proposal, to the associations committee, with just 36 apartments in 2 three-storey blocks and a detached single storey community building.This would consist of entrance porch, main hall, male, female and disabled toilets, kitchens and store, with five parking spaces in front and some amenity space to the rear.  The proposal was approved at the residents General Meeting on 28 July 05 along with support for the application.

Planning permission was granted in September 05. This left the residents association facing the problem of the financing and managing Whitley’s new community centre.

As the Council were unable to take on yet another Community Centre it forced the Chairman, along with three directors, to set up a company “Whitley Community Centre Ltd”. The Centre was eventually opened by the Lord Mayor of Coventry in September 2009.

After the initial success applying for grants, the sponsored “taster” sessions of Bingo, Quiz night’s, magic shows and cookery classes etc. proved insufficient to cover overheads. This resulted in the Centre going into partnership with “Tiny Teddies” day nursery in 2008, which the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress officially declared open on the 19th September.

This arrangement continues and enables the Centre to sponsor various evening and community events throughout the year.


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