Charnwood Borough Council and Action Deafness, Trustees of the Loughborough & Dist Mission
United Kingdom

The Action Deafness centre (former Deaf Mission building) at 17 Forest Road is an important feature of Loughborough, providing unique facilities for Loughborough citizens. Action Deafness plans to close the centre on August 31st 2009. No adequate reasons have been given for closure.

Work for the deaf in Loughborough was begun in 1896 by the Leicester and County Mission to the Deaf and Dumb. The present buildings in Forest Road were purchased in 1949 and a year later saw the completion of the necessary alterations and the church was dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Leicester and the social rooms were opened. Leslie Edwards, a prime mover in the deaf community and important in the formation of two major deaf charities – RNID and BDA – was the missioner for some 37 years. Although the centre is now used primarily for various user groups, regular church services, with signing for the deaf, are still held in the building.

The building is a unique facility for user groups because it combines good acoustics (vital for hard of hearing people) with appropriate soft surfaces with minimal echo, storage for equipment, an effective induction loop system, good access for disabled members, good access by public transport close to the town centre and good amenities (kitchen etc). No other building in Loughborough provides this combination of facilities.

It is owned by the Loughborough & District Mission for Deaf People charity as a facility for the benefit of the deaf community whilst being operated by Action Deafness Leicester.

We believe that the centre offers special facilities for the disabled people of Loughborough and district. It is also an underutilised resource for the wider Charnwood community and should be kept open for the present and future welfare of local people.

The building is noted by Charnwood Borough Council as “an important building.. in an area of architectural and historic importance” in the 2006 Victoria Street Conservation Area Character Appraisal and it is important for the Loughborough townscape that the building is not abandoned or demolished following closure.

We petition the Trustees to continue to keep the building open for the use of the community in Loughborough.

We further petition Charnwood Borough Council to use all possible assistance to keep the building open as a facility for the people of Charnwood, and to rapidly adopt the proposed extension to the Victoria Street Conservation Area to provide statutory protection for the building and townscape.

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The Save Loughborough Deaf Mission petition to Charnwood Borough Council and Action Deafness, Trustees of the Loughborough & Dist Mission was written by Jack Sandover and is in the category Miscellaneous at GoPetition.