Applying the EDG in practice: Community Building

The Northfield Centre Case Study

Development name: The Northfield Centre

Location: Stafford, Staffordshire

Architect: Nicol Thomas 

Developer: Gailford Try

Scheme type: Community Building

The Northfield Centre is at the heart of Northfield Village. The Northfield development brings together a range of accommodation, community and care facilities on one site. The innovative scheme  provides people with accommodation choices and a holistic approach to care, allowing people to continue to live the lifestyle they want in the same familiar locality. From preventative services and a community hub to a doctor’s surgery and a specialist dementia home, Northfield Village is a bold new model of integrated services.

The Northfield Centre is open to the whole community and supports the residents of Elmwood (affordable over 50's extra care housing) as its neighbour. The two buildings are connected via a glass atrium winter garden which has its main entrance off Northfield Plaza. The centre aims to support local people, encourage friendships, build confidence and make the most of opportunities.

The Northfield Centre contains a number of facilities including:

  • A restaurant
  • Café bar
  • Internet café
  • A community hall
  • Individual community rooms
  • Information point
  • A Community Learning Centre
  • Community Services Hub
  • Occupational Health accommodation

The Northfield Centre hosts a range of activities for people of all ages and can also provide a local venue for events or meetings. The centre also offers volunteering roles and work placements and help people to develop new employability skills.

To the front of The Northfield Centre and at the heart of Northfield Plaza is the public realm consisting of landscaped areas where the front veranda of the Café bar extends out to the south facing green space. This area  enables the public to have better access to transport links on the west of the site. The pedestrianised walkway runs through the community gardens offering relaxed areas to sit and enjoy the outdoors. 

The Northfield Centre embodies a number of Health and Well being principles of the EDG;

  • supporting community leadership and participation through high-quality planning, design and management of the environment;
  • promoting high-quality local employment, affordable housing, sport & recreation facilities, environmental sustainability and skill development;
  • providing convenient local healthcare services with options for (and incentives towards) self-care;
  • providing interesting and stimulating open spaces and natural environments to encourage people to be physically active;
  • ensuring developments embody the principles of lifetime neighbourhoods and promote independent living;
  • encouraging active travel, most particularly cycling and walking;
  • creating a safe and accessible built environment with well-designed public spaces that encourage community participation; and
  • ensuring that all work, educational or public spaces are sufficiently well designed to promote active and healthy lifestyles.



Page updated: 19/02/2019

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