A group of climate volunteers are seeking a home for Telford’s Climate Emergency Centre (CEC), a new community based initiative.

“THE ESTABLISHMENT OF EMPTY BUILDINGS AS INSPIRATIONAL COMMUNITY HUBS FOR THE BENEFIT OF PEOPLE AND PLANET.”

CECs exist in a variety of forms around the country, some in small empty retail shops, others in large industrial ex supermarkets. But the reason they exist is the same. They are there to provide a welcoming, inclusive space to share information and solutions to the climate emergency we are facing.

From swap shops and vegan cafes to art exhibitions and repair shops, they are spaces that encourage residents to live more sustainably. Run by volunteers and self funded, they are an asset to communities and can provide a hub for all things planet friendly.

A small group of Telford and Wrekin residents are planning on opening Telford’s CEC in the coming months, but need to find a suitable home. Wellington has been suggested as it is relatively central with good transport links, but all areas would be considered.

Key attributes include good accessibility, large open plan space and most importantly of all, a landlord who is willing to provide the space free of charge. The plan would be to run the CEC as a community interest company or a charity, enabling the landlord to claim back a large portion of business rates that they would otherwise be paying for an empty premises. As well as saving the landlord business rates, it would enable empty high street properties to be reused, benefitting the town centres as a whole.

If you know of any empty properties you think could be suitable, or would just let to get involved with the project please email for find out more.

Telford’s CEC team state:

“We are a small group of Telford and Wrekin residents who are very concerned about the climate and ecological emergencies. We want to raise awareness among our local communities about the issues we all face and support people to access information and resources to help reduce their carbon emissions and waste and live more sustainably.

A Telford Climate Emergency Centre is in the process of being set up. Telford CEC will be part of a growing National Climate Emergency Centre Network. Other CECs have already set up in places like Lewes, Stains and Ilford. CECs use empty buildings to create welcoming, safe and inclusive spaces which bring individuals and groups together to undertake community based learning and action to benefit people and the planet.

We are currently looking for a suitable venue in Telford for the CEC so that we can provide the whole community with the following resources: a Library of Things which loans equipment (such as for gardening, DIY, cooking) for a small charge to reduce unnecessary consumption; the repair cafe to help prolong the lives of things; swap shops so people can swap things they no longer want; Grow-Your-Own swaps to help people grow their own food and build local food security through seed swaps, plant swaps, harvest swaps; workshops about green solutions for people’s homes and gardens, and advice on how people can live more sustainably. Telford CEC will also provide a creative space for arts and crafts activities for people of all ages.

Our key priority is to find a suitable accessible venue in Telford. If you would like to get involved or have any ideas or useful contacts please contact us by email: [email protected] or facebook @telfordcec. We have meetings on Monday evenings fortnightly via Zoom. If you email us we can add you to the mailing list for the meeting link and further updates.”

Caroline Talbot
Author: Caroline Talbot