What's life like at The Ardagh? The historic Bristol site that's now a thriving community hub

  • Watch Ellie Barker's report

A pavillion in Bristol built in the 1920s has been turned back into a thriving community space after it was saved from development.

The Ardagh Pavillion - which means ‘High View’ in Gaelic - was built on Horfield Common in 1926 and became a hub for local people.

But it fell into disrepair after almost 100 years of community use.

When plans to sell and demolish it to make way for housing came to light, it prompted people living nearby to launch a bid to save it.

The centre fell into disrepair and plans were launched to develop it

Volunteers have since taken over the tenancy agreement from Bristol City Council and it is now run as a charity.

Chief executive officer at The Ardagh Community Trust, Sam Thomson, said: "A lot of people were very much invested in wanting to keep facilities and keep this space available.

"We’ve taken on a lease from Bristol City Council. There are a couple of areas of the site we don’t run, but the grounds, the sports courts, the building is all run by the charity which is overseen by local volunteers."

And further improvements are still planned planned, with work due to take place on the sports courts, creating new play spaces and setting up more community projects.

"Now we've got this fantastic facility, we want to really enjoy it and do all sorts of things that respond to both existing and emerging need locally," Sam added.

The project all started seven years ago with a shack which was once a burger van.

The cafe helped volunteers raise enough money to improve the centre

It was transformed into a coffee shop which was opened three days a week. As it was run by volunteers, they soon started earning enough money to start transforming the wider site.

ITV News West Country spent a week at the Ardagh, finding a food bank there on Tuesday, an Alzheimer's support group and a first aid course on Wednesday and volunteers busy tending to the garden on the Thursday.

On Friday, there was a Tai Chi group while Saturday saw a repair cafe set up at the Ardagh.

The centre is now a thriving community space used by all generations

Volunteer Anna Reese said: “It’s important to have centres like these, based in areas where the community can have access and see what we do.”

Mark regularly volunteers as a gardener at the centre - something he says has transformed his life.

"I suffer with anxiety," he said. "By volunteering here, it's changed my life for the better and I've made lots of new friends."