The current Community Centre building was opened in 1940 having been built at the same time as the estate. It was built by the Congregational Church using funds obtained from the sale of Ramsden Street Congregational Church which was closed and sold so that the council could build a library (the present library in Huddersfield) on the site.
When the building was first opened it was called ‘Ramsden Street Memorial Church’ later becoming known as ‘Brackenhall Congregational Church’. In 1972 the Congregational Church and the Presbyterian Church came together to form the United Reformed Church. Although the church building was owned by the church, the land it stands on is still owned by the council, although on a very long lease.
The existing Centre is located within the housing re-development which is being undertaken by the Deighton and Brackenhall Initiative Limited (DBI Ltd) on the Brackenhall Estate and is part of the wider regeneration activity in the area. The existing Centre was refurbished in 1983 by Kirklees Council and then leased from the United Reformed Church by Kirklees Council and managed by Brackenhall Community Trust.
The current layout of the existing Centre makes it difficult to accommodate more than one activity and impossible if the users have mobility problems. Many groups and activities are therefore prevented from using the facilities. A Project Team was established in May 2003, to investigate the possibility of extending and expanding the existing facilities to better accommodate current users needs and to attract and accommodate new users and activities.
Originally, Southdale (the housing developers) were approached to draw up some plans for the centre and to conduct a feasibility study, which the Management Committee (prior to the Trust forming) agreed they would like to take further if possible. The feasibility study highlighted several issues with trying to develop the exisiting building or site. The positive was the new housing is bringing into the area a substantial number of new people who are potential users and supporters of the centre.
The group looked at five options, and agreed to consider new building as one option. Southdale drew up rough costings for two options. The group discussed both options and agreed that the most viable option would be to relocate to a more central site on the estate and build a new bigger community facility.