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Our History

Chain Lane Community Centre was saved from closure and brought into community ownership in March 2011, following two years of work by a wide range of stakeholders from the VCSE and statutory sectors. Funding was secured from a grant and loan mix from the Social Investment Business enabling the purchase and partial re-development of the centre.

In 2014 land to the rear of the site was sold to the Wilf Ward Trust to accommodate Sherburn House, a purpose-built care home for adults with complex needs. This enabled the completion of the refurbishment and Chain Lane Community Centre proudly opened its doors in March 2015.

  • 1940


    Since the early 1940’s the buildings on Chain Lane have been at the centre of community life.

    Built originally to house the local Land Army Teams during World War 2. The Chain Lane Centre has been a popular community facility for over 80 years, providing a meeting place for a wide range of local organisations, notably the Youth Service. It was acquired by Harrogate College in 1996 when a parcel of assets was transferred from the local authority, and subsequently by Leeds Metropolitan University (Leeds Met). The University indicated in 2008 that they wished to sell the site, and there was real concern that the centre would be lost as a community asset.

  • May 2008 – May 2010

    Centre under threat of closure

  • January 2011

    Funding to purchase and begin refurbishment

    The site was secured by a social investment business

  • January 2011

    Funding to purchase and begin refurbishment of the site secured from Social Investment Business

  • March 2011

    Purchase of site completed

  • March 2011 – September 2011

    Initial refurbishment of offices, toilet block and construction of new lobby

  • July 2012

    Further re-development undertaken in the community spaces utilising funds secured from Wren and other local funds

  • July 2012 – November 2013

    Sale of land

    Negotiations with Wilf Ward Family Trust for sale of land to the rear of the site and support for their planning application

  • January 2013

    Charitable status achieved

  • November 2013

    Planning application for care home at land to the rear of the site achieved

  • July 2014

    Sale of land to Wilf Ward Family Trust completed

  • August 2014

    Re-development of community space continues

  • December 2014

    Loss of NYCC youth service (anchor tenant) due to austerity cuts

  • February 2015

    Re-development of community space complete – re-launch event held.

  • September 2021

    Progression through the pandemic

    In September 2021 Chain Lane Community Centre played a pivotal role in the Covid Vaccination Programme. Homecare Pharmacy approached the charity to provide accommodation for a mass vaccination centre. At its peak there were over 1000 people a day being vaccinated. Between September and December 2021 over 65,000 vaccinations were given to local people and beyond.


More about Chain Lane

  • Our Team

    Our Team

    Meet our trustees and team working to serve the people of Knaresborough

Get in touch!

If there is anything that we can help with, from hiring rooms, joining a group or informing you about activities and opening times at the Kiosk at Conyngham, please give us a ring or send us a message