Bid to provide new centre for Northampton's 2,000-strong African community

Bar Serengeti is used as a meeting place for the local African community at the moment but they would ideally like a fit-for-purpose hub for all generations. Picture: Google Maps.
Bar Serengeti is used as a meeting place for the local African community at the moment but they would ideally like a fit-for-purpose hub for all generations. Picture: Google Maps.

The local African community has reached out to the Guildhall for assistance in setting up a new hub.

Head of the United African Association, Anne Wankiiri, spoke at Northampton Borough Council's full council meeting on June 3 to ask councillors for their help in setting up a new community centre.

Picture taken at a recent 'Africa Day' celebration event on the Market Square. Anne is pictured centre.

Picture taken at a recent 'Africa Day' celebration event on the Market Square. Anne is pictured centre.

At the moment Bar Serengeti, on Wellingborough Road, is being used as their main community meeting spot but Anne's argument is that it is not a valid space for children, or those who do not wish to drink.

And, since the African Caribbean Elders Services closed down in Park Avenue, Anne said there has been nowhere for the over 65s to go.

The new community centre would need to be a family-friendly hub, for all generations, which offers their 2,000-strong community somewhere for people to meet and network, and to offer recreational activities.

Speaking after the meeting, Anne said to the Chronicle & Echo: "I was hoping to get the support of the councillors and obtain a community centre for the African community living in Northampton.

"I just feel like there is no hub for us and the only one we have got is Bar Serengeti pub as the place to get together but it's not convenient for people who don't drink or have children.

"Culturally we enjoy our music. We need to have a place where we can make an acceptable level of noise without getting on our neighbours nerves."

Recreational activities would involve African drumming, Swahili classes, holiday clubs counselling services and health and well being classes.

"We have been trying for a number of years," Anne added. "But we have never been successful so we thought we would present ourselves to the council and get some thoughts and advice."