STAGE two of South Alive’s community hub, The Pod, in South City is under way after the completion of stage one, including the opening of The Pantry two months ago.
South Alive manager Cress Evans said since receiving a $245,000 Lotteries grant, construction of stage two of the build was now imminent.
“The footprint is already there. It is just a case of renovating the back part of the building, which will include an office for South Alive, storage space, a volunteers and community lounge and a separate outside entrance to the east.”
As well as developing stage two, the community kitchen, opposite the cafe in The Pantry, where some of the cafe food, such as baked goods, would be made, as well as workshops and demonstrations would be held, would soon be open once the equipment and fittings had been installed, Ms Evans said.
The kitchen would also be available for the public, in particular for fundraising and community groups, to use, she said.
The not-for-profit charitable trust Koha Kai had an enclosed 50sqm area within stage one of the building, near the community kitchen, which was ready to install a purpose-built commercial kitchen for people of all abilities to provide low-cost ready-made meals for its schools programmes, as well as The Pantry.
The aim of The Pod was to build a community building, to be developed by the community, for the community, which would be a hub for information, socialising, meetings and making community connections.
Stage three, which includes extending the back of the building to house two large community meeting spaces is yet to begin.
Although the South Alive offices and team would eventually be relocated to The Pod, the Community Artspace and The Hub, which was connected to the art gallery, would still be retained in the South City Mall, Ms Evans said.