Matrix Housing

Community Room Opened by Walsall Mayor

A new community room funded by residents on a Walsall housing estate has been officially declared open by the town’s mayor.

The Mayor, Councillor Pete Smith, performed the ribbon-cutting ceremony inside the new facility at Leamore Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) Friday 27th February

The community room - to be used for social nights, bingo, craft sessions, Neighbourhood Watch meetings and by groups from the wider Walsall area - was voted for and funded by residents on the estate.

Tenants in Leamore TMO – part of WATMOS Community Homes tenant-run housing group - called for the much-needed new development after the old space became too cramped.

Jean Stewart, Chair of Leamore TMO, said: “Over the last few years our community events were so well supported that the old room was no longer fit for purpose.

“We even had to make people queue outside at Christmas fetes when the room became full, but this new facility will completely solve that problem.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the finished room, which comes just as we’ve celebrated the 50th anniversary of Leamore TMO. I feel very proud of what we’ve achieved and hope the room will be well-used and enjoyed.”

Leamore TMO Estate Director, Dean Barker, said: “At several open days we received feedback from tenants asking for improved community facilities and after holding an estate-wide ballot, the ‘Yes’ vote came out on top.

“We decided it would be best to extend out from the old community room and that we could meet the costs ourselves through surpluses we had saved.

“The whole process was carefully managed by the TMO board and we are delighted with the outcome.”

The room is an orangery-style design and the former community space has been redeveloped into a kitchen and toilet block.

Leamore TMO is run by the tenants who live in the estate’s 275 flats and aims to create safe and pleasant neighbourhoods for everyone who lives there.

The Leamore towerblocks were officially opened by Walsall Council in March 1964 and - along with seven other estates - were transferred to WATMOS Community Homes, based in Lichfield Street, in 2003.