Delight as community hub given planning permission

Trustees of LOVE Driffield have expressed their delight after East Riding of Yorkshire councillors approved plans to convert the former Exchange Saleroom in Driffield into a hub that will serve the community.

Last week, the council’s Eastern Area Planning Sub-Committee unanimously approved the plans to transform the building, previously home to Spicer’s Auctioneers, into a hub serving the local community, alongside the Driffield and Wolds Foodbank which moved there in 2021.

With planning permission now granted, all that remains is for the building to be signed off before a range of groups and activities can take place in the community hub.

“We’re beyond delighted that the council has granted planning permission for the community hub,” said Angela.


The idea is for the hub to be made available for hire, offering a base for adult learning, job application workshops, IT hubs and community groups to work in.

Alongside this, the foodbank will be open from Monday to Thursday between 10am and 12:30pm, with demand for the service expected to rise as a result of increased living costs.

As well as the good news from the planning meeting, last week also marked the second-year anniversary of LOVE Driffield and its group of volunteers moving out of the All Saints’ Parish Church Hall, one of its previous homes, to assist with East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

And it was also 12 months since the Exchange Saleroom was identified as potentially the foodbank’s permanent base.

LOVE Driffield’s base is the former Spicer’s Auctioneers building

Angela Train, LOVE Driffield trustee and Driffield and Wolds Foodbank manager, told the Wolds Weekly that the work now starts to finish off the renovation work, before welcoming the community in.

“We’re beyond delighted that the council has granted planning permission for the community hub,” said Angela.

“It has been a long process, but all the councillors were very complimentary.

“We can now finally get the building signed off and start finishing off a few more jobs before moving forward.

“One of the first jobs will be to get the kitchen up and running and there are other things we need to finish off too.

“Signing off the building will take time, but that’s the nature of us all being volunteers.

“The next step is for adult education to come in and conduct a risk assessment and as soon as the building is signed off, we’re ready for them to move in.

“KCOM are recruiting volunteers to run IT hubs in the building and the children’s centre is also waiting for the go-ahead.

“We’ve already sourced toys so we can run a mum and baby drop-in, which we hope will be popular and there is possibly a grant available for some soft play equipment.”

Last week, the foodbank volunteers were busy making up bags for children who would normally access free school meals, ahead of the Easter holidays.

Four hundred bags will be sent to 16 local schools from Tuesday 5th April, with the Driffield branch of Nisa helping to secure funding.

Angela said that the foodbank’s list of clients continues to increase and expects this pattern to continue as the cost-of-living crisis escalates.

“Our client list is going up and we must be up to 70 or 80 families now,” she said.

“Many of those requiring help are testing positive for COVID.

“Recently, we’ve had four families in tears, bawling their eyes out.

“One of them had seen their energy bill go up from £70 to £180, her rent was £600 and there was no way she could afford to pay it and feed her children.

“Many of these people are trying to be responsible and pay the bills, but it means that they can’t afford food.

“This is going to be an increasing problem. The scenario we are facing is not going to be good at all.”

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