Sparkbrook Community and Health Centre
"The Sparkbrook Community and Health Centre has been community-led right from the start, enabling residents and patients alike to play an active role in addressing health and wellbeing issues in our area. This showcase development is now a one-stop hub for health and wellbeing services that will benefit future generations and create a legacy for itself as an example of how to unite the community though a single vision."Naeem Qureshi, Chair of Sparkbrook Neighbourhood Forum
While Sparkbrook already had a wide range of existing amenities, including a health centre and well-loved family centre, the facilities were outdated and in desperate need of rejuvenation. However the plots of land these stood on were quite small, restricting future development plans and limiting parking provision.
When a tornado damaged the Victorian Christ Church opposite – resulting in its eventual demolition – BaS LIFT approached the Diocese of Birmingham about purchasing its land. Further talks revealed the church wanted to retain a presence in the local area but on a much smaller and more sustainable scale. By working with its private sector partner, Prime, BaS LIFT used its funding and development expertise to facilitate a complex land swap. This enabled the church to be rebuilt on the site of the former health centre and family centre and a new combined health and council facility to be developed on the site of the demolished church.
In addition to three GP practices, the centre provides community dental services, physiotherapy, and Birmingham City Council’s Customer Service Centre, as well as six offices for social enterprises and flexible community space available to hire.
A collaborative approach to health and wellbeing
The £12million hub is the result of a collaborative vision between the NHS, Birmingham City Council (BCC), the Diocese of Birmingham and BaS LIFT to regenerate community facilities and services, reviving the neighbourhood for this 31,000 strong population.
To facilitate co-location of services and enable the NHS and local authority to deliver more from limited budgets, an innovative funding solution was required. The flexibility of the LIFT model allowed BaS LIFT to combine both capital and revenue funding, financing the project to suit the individual needs of both the NHS and BCC. Both organisations have equal ownership of the facility, helping to remove the traditional property and funding barriers that can impede a cross-organisational approach. This has enabled both organisations to respond to the wider community need, while reducing the duplication of services and encouraging costs savings with multiple facilities being located under one roof.