Eastwood residents have asked for ideas as planning is underway to transform Durban House into a new community center

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Durban House will be transformed into a new dementia care center and community hub.

Durban House was built in 1896 and was once the payroll office for the mine where author DH Lawrence’s father worked.

DH Lawrence is said to have received his father’s salary there before becoming a famous writer, writing books such as Sons And Lovers and Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

The building has a long history, going from a social club to apartments, before the city council bought the building in 1995.

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Community members and health officials gathered to take a look at the Durban House Community Hub site last week.

This was later the DH Lawrence Heritage Center, but this was closed by Broxtowe Borough Council in 2016 to save £ 80,000 per year.

It later became a nail salon, the last tenants being the Jubilee House Christian School.

But the school closed in January 2020 and the building is currently empty.

Broxtowe District Council chief Councilor Milan Radulovic now wants to see the historic building transformed into a dementia daycare and community center.

Plans include creating a community garden, an upstairs cafe and a space for dementia patients and their families to receive help and support.

The council says there will be 28 parking spaces and enough space to accommodate up to 100 people per day.

Last Friday (November 12), an open house was held with community members and health officials to discuss the proposals.

It is hoped that part of the city’s £ 20million upgrade bid, due to be submitted to the government this spring, will help bring the project to life.

Coun Radulovic said: “By 2025 it is estimated that there will be over one million people with dementia and there are many types of dementia.

“Our biggest concern is that there does not appear to be a solution to the problem. We are looking for ways to help and support vulnerable people in our society.

“We need a better facility in Broxtowe that will provide better care for individuals. If we don’t get money from the government, we’ll have to look at parts of the project that might happen without their support. “

There is also space in the building for a range of other offerings and a group has now been formed to help oversee the transformation of the historic building into a “true community center”.

The “Durban House Community Hub” group on Facebook is now seeking ideas from Eastwood residents on what they would most like to see the building in use for.

Administrator Teresa Burgoyne said: “There is enormous potential for using the space to support and integrate local groups / charities / initiatives, and to make a real difference in people’s lives.

“How do you see the development of Durban House? What services does the local community need to complement all the wonderful things that are already happening in and around Eastwood? “

Many locals have already given their opinions, including ideas for computer facilities, sports and arts, playground, youth clubs.

One person suggested that a regular farmer’s market might be a good idea for the city.

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