Our Story

The Castle Community Centre is based in what was an old disused Co-op shop.
In 2011 we (Dave and Judy Usher) rented the building and with help from other local groups restored the building and the main hall. It became home for several community groups Upstairs (the old storehouse complete with working winch) was restored as office space and shared with small businesses, charities, and social enterprises. The further space downstairs (originally the butchers) was converted into two working kitchens used by The Castle Kitchen and Taste and See External Catering (previously known as Big Top Catering) Both companies set up at the outset to support The Community Centre and neighbourhood, both financially and providing work experience and local employment. The Castle name was chosen as we wanted the building to be a refuge, a safe place for those in the surrounding community.

The Castle Community Association was set up and today it facilitates several groups – Bee Yourself (for families whose children have additional needs), a Kids Club, a Year 6 Club, Gardening Group ,Walking group, Family club, Homework Club and a quieter Tea and Cake session on a Sunday afternoon. We are also a distribution centre for Salford Baby Bank.

It is also home to the Eccles Youth team who have regular youth club sessions. We also work alongside housing trusts and other organisation working with families, children, and young people in the local area. We use our back yard for gardening and vegetable growing activities. In addition to the regular groups we run holiday clubs and events on our local Ivy Park.

The Present 2024

This year we will continue to run holiday clubs and these always include the provision of a daily hot meal.
The kitchens are still primarily used Taste and See and The Castle Kitchen, but the larger kitchen can also be used for community cooking activities and is used by Citywall as part of mentoring young people. Always great smells coming out of our kitchens. The offices and storage space are used by. Patricroft Community Group CIC, The Castle Kitchen, Salford Babybank, Kids Club and Citywall. Taste and See External Catering Citywall is a Salford based, not-for-profit organisation which exists to invest in the education, well-being and safety of young people and their families. They provide regular one to one mentoring support for young people.
They also offer several different services, including an alternative provision project, a knife crime project, a project supporting young victims and a mental health project. Taste and See External Catering continues to supply high quality catering throughout Greater Manchester and the Castle Kitchen provides food for Salford based community events. 

A comment received from a recent catering event held in Didsbury from this month.:

“Thank you so much for catering for our memorial on Saturday. Not only was the food delicious, but also you and your colleagues were lovely to chat to and provided excellent professional service.
Very best wishes,
Chi-Yu Mo”
Principal E flat Clarinet, London Symphony Orchestra
Professor of Clarinet, Royal Academy of Music

Both catering enterprises are places where young people and adults can gain work experience, a place to build self-confidence and be ‘work ready’. Long term our hope and expectation is that Taste and See will move out of The Castle to open a café or restaurant and both kitchens will then be available as community cooking facilities. In 2021 we were able to purchase The Castle building, and this has been the catalyst to become a community interest company for the Patricroft area. We can now begin to develop further facilities and look at new opportunities.

The Patricroft Community Group CIC has been set up to provide.

The community of Patricroft and its surrounding areas inclusive activities and events that bring the community together.

Our first aim is to create community space/s that will be a place where the community can be involved in a range of activities both in the building and in our local community green spaces. We want The Castle Community Centre and local community green spaces to be safe spaces where people can come to participate in a range of activities. We aim to ensure that there are a variety of activities that are inclusive and represent the community we live and work in. We are looking to acquire more community space in the future so that we can grow as a group and as a community.

Our Second aim is to organise activities that provide social interaction, health and well-being plus training opportunities for children, young people and adults within the community. We will plan projects and work with various organisations to deliver activities that address issues the community face. In particular:

  • Positive activities for children and young people to engage them in new and
    exciting experiences that help learn, make friends, build confidence and open up
    new horizons and opportunities.
  • Activities that bring families together promoting health and wellbeing
    Social activities for older people who may be isolated or living alone.
  • Training and learning opportunities to help adults build skills and find

Further Developments

We work alongside Lewis Street Primary School and together are looking at various avenues to acquire the Old Post Office at the end of our street to turn into a Community café with further rooms for community and school use plus mentoring rooms. We expect The Cafe to provide opportunities for work experience for young people. Both Lewis Street School and The Castle would benefit for more space for one to one and family mentoring. The school needs more space for theirstaff as they have recently lost their staffroom provision. We are hoping that through partnership we may be able to acquire the Post office and restore it just as we have the old Co-op shop to be a further community asset.

The School Field

Behind the old Post office is a place of land ( an old nursery)that has been given to the school for outdoor activities. It’s the schools only green space and is used for many activities. Access to the space is down the side of the Post Office. The Post Office is now a state of disrepair and it is  becoming unsafe for the children to access the green space by walking down the side of the building. It is frustrating to see a building that could be such a valuable community asset just falling apart. We will keep you updated on the progress.

Development of our Green Spaces

In our streets we have very little green space. Ivy Park is our only public space and is often an area attracting anti-social behaviour, drug dealing and litter. Many of our local families live in flats or houses with small back yards and this is their only recreational space.

We use the space for larger community events in the summer. We have spent many hours organising Christmas in the Park events but so far the bad weather has always meant we’ve had to move indoors. We also do litter picks on Saturday mornings with our family group. The park often seems a forgotten space, We have recently become Friends of Ivy Park and we are hoping to partner with the council to develop the space. All our local children, families and young people spend hours there as it is the only green space. Last year our gardening team talked of developing develop a community garden in a part of the space and working with the council to see if we can  improve and refurbish the park. Lots of ideas but we would like to develop an under 5’s play area and refurbish or replace the current play equipment already there for older children.

Successful Funding Bid

Recently we heard the great news that we have been successful in receiving funding to turn a small area of the park into a sensory garden! 

Patricroft Community Group CIC and the Castle and Ivy Park Community Association are working together to begin the process of transforming Ivy Park into a beautiful garden and recreation space for all local residents to enjoy We hope The Sensory Garden is the first part of the transformation. Further details will follow and we will keep

Further Green Partnership

We have recently joined with Lewis Street School in also developing the school field into an enclosed space that can be used by the community when the school is not using it. Our gardening club is at present working on making a seating area for the children and developing raised beds so the school children and the community can grow vegetables. The City of Trees are working with the school children and our gardening group to plant hundreds of trees and shrubs around the edge of the space. At the end of the field is an amazing, wooded area. We will be sourcing a joint funding bid so that we can transform it into an area that children and families can use – watch out for Den making Mud Kitchens learning forest crafts etc

The Castle Community Centre Development

We have a great problem in that we have now outgrown the space at the Castle and even if the Post Office space can be developed, we need more space for our ever-growing youth and children’s groups at The Castle


The Castle has a large cellar which has been identified as perfect for an additional children
and youth space. Alicia our architect (alicia@theregenerativeproject.org) has a passion for transforming and extending space into a useable and sustainable facility which we know will be so well used. We now have all the plans drawn up ready to go forward with sourcing funding and in the process of obtaining quotations for the
conversion. We have further plans for the building including putting in a lift and a roof garden, creating more storage space and a moving of the community kitchen but first and most pressing requirement is more space.


Our gardening Club uses our back yard where children and families can grow vegetables and use them in cooking. We also have a piece of waste land down the side of the Castle which we would ideally like to take in to develop further growing space. We are at present pursuing this with the council. There is enough space to also create a seating area for everyone that uses The Castle and a small play area for our children. The plans and development of this and the side land are included in the funding requirements for the cellar.

Salford Baby Bank

The first few months of a new baby are hard enough. We look to help Salford families in urgent need of baby essentials such as nappies, wipes, milk formula and other equipment and clothes. We also believe that being connected helps you thrive. We are committed to linking families in with local community groups and services that will support them along the journey. We work on a referral basis but will accept referrals from any organisation that works in the Salford area. The main Baby bank centre is based in Langworthy. We are a distribution centre for Eccles, Winton, Irlam, Cadishead and Little Hulton


The Castle Community Centre and the work on our local green spaces couldn’t happen without an army of volunteers, Patricroft Community Group CIC has 6 directors who all volunteer their time, and the Castle and Ivy Park Community Association has a large committee helping to run all our clubs and local events. We have volunteers for Baby bank but always need more volunteers’ drivers.
Join Us
We can never have enough volunteers so please come and talk to us if you would like to help out.

2024 & Next Developments

We will take the next two years to ensure we consolidate all we have achieved and now look to begin to employ staff. We need help with the volume of administration and accounts, a person to oversee our volunteers and a Family and Community worker. We will look at ways of increasing our income and funding to ensure we are a permanent feature in this community. Too often we hear that groups think they are just a project, we want our community to know that is not the case and we are committed to the long term.
Looking forward to what the future holds