The Mission

Introduction to our mission ‘The Big Build’

There is now lots of evidence that spending time in nature can bring huge benefit to both of physical and mental health. We are shaping a place for people to come together, learn, be creative and explore nature.

Our Big Build project aims to provide a dry warm indoor facility which can be used by schools, voluntary organisations and local businesses for outdoor recreation, education, workshops water based sports and camping. Without an indoor facility of this kind, this fantastic and unique site can only support occasional outdoor events and organisations that want to use it, have to pay for temporary structures like marquees and porta-loos.

This unique canal side space will create an important asset for people to take a step away from the busyness of modern life, reconnect with the natural world & the history of our canals. It will create an important space to learn new skills, build confidence self esteem whilst understanding the importance of working harmoniously with others.

learning cabin

Our Eco-cabin classroom

The installation of this eco classroom is the next big step to create a safe, accessible, inclusive and sustainable community facility which serves local young people, and promotes social interaction and learning. We need this facility in place so we can open the doors to group bookings, encourage shared use and increase opportunities for healthy outdoor recreation by schools, young people with special needs and other youth organisations serving in Atherstone and its surrounding neighbourhoods.
The canal-side green space

Canal and Green

The green is a large recreational space that can be used for games, camping, campfires and fetes. Due to the location and it being a quiet part of Atherstone is it also a suitable place to find some of the smaller wildlife that we share our homes with such as dragonflies, butterflies, ducks, kingfishers, moorhen, swans and more. Parallel to the land is a wharf where canal boats can more and to make it a little easier to get into the water there is also a slip way. In the area the canal broadens where boats use to rotate, this is the perfect place to learn water activities such as canoeing, rafting and much more…
The boathouse

The Boat House

The boat house is a multipurpose space that can be used as a classroom, cafe or workshop. Inside there will be a small kitchen area, making it possible for the boatyard to sell tea and cake to passing trade.
Design for eco toilet

An Eco Toilet

Being so close to the canal we wanted to put in place a sustainable solution that allowed our guests to relieve themselves without impacting the land. As a result, we have decided to put in a eco toilet. To the eye the toilet wont be any different from your normal loo, something about how it will work.

Our Progress

Local consultation

Over the last 2 years we have held a number of consultation meetings with the residents of Slacks avenue, meeting with the planning department of North Warwickshire Borough Council and Canal & Rivers Trust.

Jul 2016

Planning application

In July 2017 we submitted a full planning application to change the use of the land from commercial boat yard to a community space and upgrade some of the existing buildings onsite.

Jul 2017

It's on... in theory

On Nov 6th 2017, we receive official green light from the planning board! A big step forward in making a long term dream into a reality for the young people of Atherstone and surrounding communities.

Nov 2017

Funding for toilet facilities

We submitted a bid for £1000 to the local councillors fund to install a compost toilet with the support of young volunteers. This application has been approved and we plan to carry out the work during a launch weekend in early Spring 2018.

Dec 2017

Youth group consultations

We toured round a number of youth based groups in the search of young people who want to become part of the Ruby’s Yard Young advisory board/panel.

Mar 2018

A plan worth funding

To apply for some serious funding, you need to have a serious plan. This means practical preparation work including pulling together defined costs for the upgrade work, confirming our building regulations documents (which incorporate all the planning North Warwickshire Planning department conditions).

Apr 2018

Our first big booking

We welcomed a large party to our first ever booking. The Warwickshire Young Carers meeting was all about getting together and learning from each other through fun and creativity. We all had a lot of fun in the sunshine and hope to see everyone back again soon.

Jul 2018

Raising funds

We applied for LEADER funding to fund our ‘Big Build’ project that gets Ruby’s Yard off the ground with an indoor centre. We also launched a SpaceHive campaign to raise funds from the public and charitable organisations. If we succeed, our plans can go ahead

Sep 2018

LEADER approved our funding

Based on the good progress we’ve made on SpaceHive and the soundness of our planning, LEADER have backed our project with the £50k we requested.

Nov 2018

SpaceHive target reached

Thanks to over 150 different backers, we exceeded our £11.5k target for SpaceHive. Securing these funds will help us get the Big Build project underway and help us gain further funding from other suppliers.

Dec 2018