Burnley Backyard – Community Update Aug 2014

Demolition of most of the structures at 49 Tudor Street, Burnley

Demolition of most of the structures at 49 Tudor Street, Burnley 3121


Exciting times! The renovation has started and we have now officially begun the development of the Burnley Backyard. You can check out the pics on RCLC’s Facebook page!

What does the memory of a backyard mean to you? For most of us in Richmond, this is a dream of days gone by at our parents’ houses in the suburbs….. Planting trees, flowers and   vegetables, the shed full of mystical tools and half finished projects, space to run, play and hide,  family and friends BBQing with plenty of space for unexpected visitors and their dog!

The Richmond Community Learning Centre, with the Richmond Community Garden Group, are endeavouring to bring that backyard back to the community of Richmond. Our aim is to provide a space that offers indoor and outdoor opportunities for the community, representing the needs of residents and  fulfilling expectations of a Community Centre.

Plans for new Burnley Backyard facility [1]

Plans for new Burnley Backyard facility [1]

Proposed Timeline

Our goal is to be up and fully functional by February 2015.   The Yarra City Council are providing funding for a Community Engagement Officer whose responsibilities will be to work with Richmond Community Learning Centre, development of community programs that represent residents needs and liaise with volunteers who will be a vital ingredient in the success of the facility.

Plans for new Burnley Backyard facility [2]

Plans for new Burnley Backyard facility [2]

Community Involvement

This is where you come in…… If you are interested in being a part of this exciting project in a volunteer role, we would love to hear from you. The role of Community Engagement Officer will also be advertised locally and if you have any interest in or questions about this role, please contact Simone Gardiner at Richmond Community Learning Centre on (03) 9428 9901 or lordst@internode.on.net

We will be requiring volunteers for a wide variety of positions. Some of these may involve assistance with:

  • marketing the Burnley Backyard and its role in the Community
  • functions and events
  • running programs and activities
  • delivering brochures/posters to residents and local businesses
  • collecting and collating feedback and information from residents and local businesses

We are very excited about the future development of the Burnley Backyard and its place in our vibrant and ever changing community. We hope to reflect the uniqueness of our Burnley identity and ensure that all feel welcome to be a part of this exciting project.


Burnley Backyard Community Engagement Session

planting-109014_640Come along to this meeting and view the plans for the landscape gardening for the proposed facility.  

Learn the layout of the garden and the types of  plants that have been chosen for the site.  This is an opportunity to meet the Landscape Architect and discuss the proposed plan for the site.

When: Saturday 07 December 2013, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Where: Burnley Backyard Facility, 49 Tudor Street, Burnley  VIC  3121
Download: Flyer [PDF, 208Kb]

Burnley Backyard

Richmond Community Learning Centre

Burnley Backyard – Community Update November 2013

Little Gardener

Little Gardener – image courtesy of  George Hodan, PublicDomainPictures.net

Since the Community Information Session back in September, there has been much activity behind the scenes to move along the project.   

The list below gives residents some indication of what has been happening:

  • Soil Tests and Health Risk Assessment were completed with a favourable outcome for the proposed use of the site
  • Final Plans were completed including landscaping (these plans will be submitted for final costings, prior to tenders being awarded)
  • A planning application letter has been submitted to the City of Yarra and awaits a decision
  • A Deed between City of Yarra and Richmond Community Learning Centre (RCLC) has been signed

What Comes Next?

Once the costings have been approved and the planning application granted, tenders for the building of the facility in Tudor Street will be called for.   At present the project is running a little behind schedule, but it is hoped that the tender process will be completed by next March/April.

A Lease for the site needs to be developed and signed by RCLC and the City of Yarra prior to access being granted to commence work on site.  So the project is moving along behind the scenes even though the site remains deserted.

Community Interest

Any Burnley residents or members of the community are welcome to make contact with me to discuss the project, or to become a volunteer of the Burnley Backyard (BBY) and thereby be contacted and kept informed of the progress of the project.   So I look forward to hearing from residents.

Richmond Community Garden Club Activity

At the Community Information Session in September, residents signed up as members of the Richmond Community Garden Group (RCGG) and indicated their interest in renting a garden plot.   The membership has slowly increased and a meeting of members was conducted at the end of October.   About 12 residents attended to hear Trish Pringle outline the activities to be undertaken by the Garden Group in addition to looking after the garden plots at Tudor Street.   Trish indicated that workshops on gardening would be presented to garden club members and any community members who would like to attend.   Fundraising events will be organised to raise funds for the improvement of the community garden, with the first being a barbeque at Bunnings in Hawthorn on 28 December 2013, and volunteers to assist Trish would be welcome.

Pat Grosse, a consultant, who is assisting the RCGG with meeting its governance obligations, was also present at the meeting to provide members and prospective members with an outline of the role of the Committee of Management to be elected at the Annual General Meeting on 19 November 2013.  A number of people indicated an interest in joining the committee which will enable the garden group to run effectively.   Five new members joined the garden group,  the evening was a relaxed informal meeting, and the information provided was appreciated by all.

So the next step for the Garden Group is to hold its AGM on 19 November at 7:00 pm at ‘The Stables’ in 19 Duke Street, Richmond.   Hope to see residents at that meeting as all will be welcome and there will be an opportunity to join the Garden Group on the night.

The Festive Season

With Christmas almost upon us (and RCLC busy with its Christmas Party preparations – see below), I wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas.  Due to the closure of most organisations for some time over the December-January period,  I will endeavour to provide further information on the project early in the new year.

Jenny Fuge
Project Manager
Burnley Backyard Project

Friday 29 November, 5:30pm – Christmas Party

Come to Richmond Community Learning Centre’s free end-of-year celebration for families and individuals in the local community.  Bring a picnic rug and light supper to hear terrific singing of Christmas Carols from our childcare kids, win amazing hampers and be part of a special visit from Santa.

book now

NOTE TO FIRST TIME USERS OF OUR ONLINE BOOKINGS SYSTEM: If the bookings system indicates that your email address is already in use this means that you have had a free account set up by our administration staff because you are an existing or past user of our centre. In this case, please click the “Sign in” button, then click “I forgot my password!” and reset your password so you can log in with your new password.

Success at last for Burnley Backyard funding!

i-dig-bb01We are very pleased to announce that on Tuesday the 4th of June, the City of Yarra council passed the 2013/2014 budget which included $200,000 for the Burnley Backyard!

This means that work on the site can begin and we can look forward to the  Burnley Backyard being fully operational by the end of 2014.

When finished, the Burnley Backyard will incorporate leased garden plots, kitchen garden, chook pen, kitchen, an arts and crafts studio, a workroom, flexible room for meetings, programs and activities and a small office. There will be a children’s play area and a paved outdoor area with an arbour.

We are planning to hold a public meeting in AUGUST at which detailed plans will be presented (these have been altered to reflect budget delays and changes) as well as information about programs and activities.

This public meeting will be advertised on the fence of 49 Tudor Street, via the Leader Newspaper, via leaflet drop, on the Burnley Backyard Facebook page and via the Richmond Community Learning Centre website and Facebook page.

Thanks to everyone who liked and shared our Facebook page, signed our petition and attached yellow items to the fence. Thanks to the community members who originally saved the Tudor Street site from being sold off and to the volunteers who are continuing to advance the project. Thanks to our Melba ward councillors: Cr Misha Coleman, Cr Phillip Vlahogiannis, Cr Simon Huggins for their assistance.

Would you like to be a part of this exciting project?  
Your skills, time, enthusiasm or expertise are just what we’re looking for!
Be involved a little or a lot – it’s up to you.
Call Simone on 9428 9901 or via email rclc@internode.on.net
and let us know how you would like to be involved.

Burnley Backyard Update


49 Tudor Street, Burnley

First of all, we would just like to thank you for your support and participation in the Burnley Backyard community project at 49 Tudor Street, Richmond. Now we would like to update you on the progression of the project as it enters the final stages of planning.It has been an intense few months for the committee at Richmond Community Learning Centre (RCLC) as we entered Stage 3 of the Burnley Backyard project. We enlisted the services of Mat Foley of Content Studio just before Christmas to lead the architectural side of this stage. Mat has a lot of experience working on community projects, having designed kindergartens, resource centres and discovery centres throughout Australia. To see some of the amazing concepts his company have worked on you can go to www.contentstudio.com.au/#Case-Studies.

Additional detailed work was done during the holiday period to finalise plans for the site, meeting with the architects, council and other relevant stakeholders. We are extremely confident with how the plans have turned out and will have some of the architect’s depictions in the News & Events section of our website in the coming weeks (refer below to view one of the plans).  We will also have a display on the perimeter fencing of Tudor Street. We have continued to be informed by the community consultation and the ideas and aspirations that were presented during Stage 2.

Also as part of Stage 3 of the planning process, a program of project completion, which outlines the timeline for certain phases to be completed, was generated. We estimate that once the project gains council’s budget approval, is costed, documented and tendered, the first phase of construction will commence in January 2014. The first phase of construction will focus on the major building works, allowing the community gardens section of Burnley Backyard to be handed over to the Richmond Community Garden Group to begin operation. All going to plan this will happen in April 2014. As this takes place, the second phase of the construction process will take place which will include the internal fit outs of the meeting spaces and landscaping of the outdoor areas. The expectation is for Burnley Backyard to be fully operational and open to the community by the middle of August 2014.

More recently, committee members and staff have met with the three newly-elected councillors for Melba Ward. Misha Coleman, Simon Huggins and Phillip Vlahogiannis all were very supportive of the project and have contributed suggestions based on their local knowledge. While the councillors are supportive, council itself is still yet to sign off on the project or the $865,000 funding required for the build to commence. There has been a strong indication that approximately $800,000 is available for the project.

Thus, we are now looking for full approval for both the funding and the delivery timeline of the project as soon as possible. To do this, RCLC committee members will be attending the next council meeting to be held on the 9th April at 6:30pm at Richmond Town Hall. We will be asking for formal commitment to the project and we encourage you to show your support for Burnley Backyard by joining us at the meeting. If you are unable to attend the meeting but wish to pose a question to council we can ask it on your behalf.

Thanks again for your support and if you have any questions for us regarding the project please do not hesitate to contact us.

On behalf of the Committee of Management and staff of Richmond Community Learning Centre


Newspaper report about Tudor Street is wrong

There has been an incorrect report in the local newspaper that the main building at 49 Tudor Street, Burnley, will be demolished and used as a community garden. This is completely untrue – we have had this confirmed by Craig Kenny and Councillor Alison Clarke at the City of Yarra. The Expression of Interest (EOI) feasibility study is still under way and we are still working with the local community to determine the best use of the site.

A community meeting will be held on Sunday 18 March – time to be advised so please stay tuned. It is very important for you, as a local community member, to attend this meeting so that your ideas about the site can be heard.

Map: 49 Tudor Street, Burnley 3121

A new community centre at Tudor Street, Richmond?

As part of the City of Yarra’s EOI process Stage 2, Richmond Community Learning Centre (RCLC), here studio,Richmond Community Gardening Group (RCGG) and Richmond Toy Library (RTL) have been selected to do a joint feasibility study for the site at 49 Tudor St. There is strong support for a community centre and we’d love to have your say via the Tudor Street – Community Survey by Monday 27 February.

For further information on the process and about us visit: tudorstreet.posterous.com