Cottonmill Community and Cycling Centre

by Cottonmill Community and Cycling Centre in St Albans, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

We did it
On 9th January 2022 we successfully raised £30,881 with 325 supporters in 59 days

Help build our new inclusive community centre with added cycling activities - bang in the middle of Cottonmill!

by Cottonmill Community and Cycling Centre in St Albans, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

  • An additional £5,000 will be used to build the all-ability track on the external cycyling route - ensuring an adaptable track for all-ability bikes.

Join our Cottonmill Adventure #LoveWhereYouLive 

Help build our new community centre with added cycling activities - bang in the heart of Cottonmill! 


We need your donations to get past the final challenge!

There are loads of 'rewards' given by local businesses for your donation - give as gifts or keep for yourself! From Tote Bags to Spa Days..

It all began in 2018 with two local people having a chat about the lack of community and youth facilities in Cottonmill, one of the most deprived areas in St Albans.*

3 years later, after loads of meetings, resident surveys, consultations, fund-raising, and zooms… the building work has finally begun at the Marlborough green space.

We now need your help at this last stage! And if you're quick - there are great rewards donated by our fabulous local people & businesses! Give as much as you can! 

The all-inclusive building will be an eco-friendly Community and Cycling Centre, with St Alban’s flagship Cycling Hub and outdoor cycle activities - bang in the heart of Cottonmill. It provides a space for all people - the young, the elderly, the isolated, young mums,  people with disabilities, and everyone else -  to meet, come together, learn, enjoy, socialise and build health and well-being for everyone.


More about the centre - designed by the community for the community

  • All-inclusive brand-new community and cycling centre 
  • Environmentally sympathetic build with solar panels, heat pumps, green roof
  • Large and small halls for hire
  • Community café
  • Community kitchen
  • Quiet Room – safe wellbeing space for people to have a moment's peace and self reflection. Dementia friendly, suitable for people with disabilities, and those with mental health stress.
  • Space for hire for keep-fit; yoga; dance; advice, health; lunch-clubs; meet-ups; art classes; film nights; foodshare, homework clubs; foodbank, cooking classes; youth clubs; socials; weddings and more
  • Wudu washing (ablution) facilities for both men and women
  • Disability access and facilities (including specialist Changing Places toilet) for people with disabilities 
  • Cycling hub for bike repairs/workshops
  • External Cyclo-cross track and BMX track – with space for all-ability bikes – so young and old, beginners and experienced cyclists – all abilities can develop and practice cycling skills; get fit, have fun, get healthy
  • Changing rooms for indoor/outdoor sports activities including football



Donate a brick - with your name engraved!

For £50+ you can actually help build the centre with a brick engraved with YOUR NAME on it - this is a lasting memory of your contribution - on one of the inner walls. See example on the photo. Go to 'Rewards' to #buyabrick


Business? - please see here

Who Are We?

The Cottonmill Community and Cycling Centre Fund-raising Group consist of  Cottonmill and Sopwell Hub campaign group, Verulam Cycling Club and Sopwell Community Trust and this Crowdfunding is a major part of our task.


What is this about?

This Community Crowdfunding is aiming to raise £20,000

St Albans City and District Council has worked hard to secure major funding for Cottonmill’s amazing new inclusive community and cycling centre. With rooms for hire, a community café, and an environmentally sympathetic build, the centre will be accessible for all local people to use and enjoy. Facilities and activities will benefit the whole of St Albans and beyond!

The plan is to complete the new building at the former Marlborough Pavilion site, off Old Oak, Cottonmill Lane AL1, in 2022.

Building costs have recently increased, and the local community have been asked to help raise a total of £79k funds, through grants, business donations and this crowdfunder - all before March 2022!

What will the money be spent on?

  • £10,000 towards  the Changing Places toilet – to ensure that disabled people can access the centre and all its activities, with dignity
  • £5,000 to kit out the community kitchen – we need good quality kitchen units, ovens, large fridge/freezer - to help create community events/cooking skills/support for food poverty 
  • £2,000 for the Quiet and Well-being Room – to help build, furnish/decorate this space for people to take a moment's peace and self reflection -dementia friendly accessible space, for people of all ages/abilities needing space away from the crowds.
  • £3,000 towards the external all-ability cycling track to inspire an increase in cycling for leisure and transport – for kids and adults


Rewards - images of exclusive Sopwell print designs1640012059_michelle_v2_images_collage_pic.jpg

More about Sopwell - one of the most deprived areas in St Albans

Sopwell ward is among one of the most disadvantaged areas in St Albans*.  It’s home to 7,500 residents, many of whom live in the Cottonmill estate, which was built after the Second World War. Despite being in the affluent city of St Albans, Sopwell has two Super Output Areas (SOAs)/sub-ward areas (17A and 17B) that are in the 40% most deprived in England. Both of these SOAs are located in the Cottonmill Estate. 

Many indicators in Sopwell are lower than the district average. It has one of the highest rates of people with no qualifications, unemployment, residents reporting their day-to-day activities are limited, self-reported bad and very bad health, and the lowest life expectancies.

In addition, Sopwell has a diverse population, with a large Bangladeshi community, yet it lacks inclusive community facilities.  Unlike most other St. Albans estates, there is no dedicated community building, no social club, no library, no central pub, very few shops and a limited bus service.

Our new inclusive, accessible community centre will play a central role in delivering activities and services that will benefit our local community. It will reduce isolation - for young and old - bringing people together with a facility that can be used to support the physical and mental health and well-being of all our residents.

*LGA Basic facts about St Albans


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£50 or more

266 of 290 claimed

"Buy a Brick" Your name forever in the centre

We’ll be creating an amazing, permanent wall of support right inside our new community centre, and you can be part of it! Choose the name/s of your family or loved one, or business name to be engraved on a brick.   For a minimum donation of £50, you can have one brick slip engraved - see photo of brick on main page. Each buff coloured brick can be engraved with two lines of black text (16 characters per line). Brick size: 215 x 65 x 20m

£6 or more

2 of 5 claimed

50% off Haircut for Men at Vintage Barbers

Great gift for the man in your life! Get HALF PRICE hair cut at Vintage Barbers, Keyfield Terrace, off London Road AL1. Vintage Barbers provide barbering services, such as cutting, trimming, shampooing, and styling hair, trimming beards, or giving shaves. Facebook @vintagebarberco.stalbans

£10 or more

24 of 100 claimed

Illustrated Tote Bag 'Straight Outta Cottonmill'

Your very own 'Straight Outta Cottonmill' proud exclusive design by local artist Michelle Mackenzie. Tote bag good enough to sling over your shoulder wherever you walk! Proud to live in Cottonmill? You can now show off with this! See illustration on main project page. Collection only from AL1 St Albans.

£12 or more

3 of 5 claimed

Design your own T-shirt with custom logo

Get a discounted custom made t-shirt of your choice - by Kushi Made - with your own unique 10cm x 10cm logo. Gift to a friend, or keep for you! See Instagram @kushimade

£17 or more

2 of 10 claimed

Wake up with the sun...with iOS Well Being App

50% discount on 1 year subscription: Amazon rainforest to a Nepalese sky. Immersive app with visuals/sounds. Wake up with the sun..sleep with the stars...inspired from nature.The Independent:"best mindfulness app" "The sounds and scenery are stunning"."Awesome!" Chill out with world’s most beautiful places; nature’s most beautiful sounds. Instant escapes to the most peaceful & awe-inspiring places in the world. See

£20 or more

8 of 100 claimed

Limited Edition A4 Print-St Albans ward map design

Exclusive design from local artist Michelle Mackenzie. A4 black and white print depicting a map of the wards of St. Albans. A fabulous gift for local friends and family. See image on project page. This reward is collection only from AL1 St Albans.

£20 or more

1 of 100 claimed

Streets of Sopwell A5 printed card

This black and white A5 print is designed exclusively for you by local artist Michelle Mackenzie - who is also the Chair of our Cottonmill and Sopwell Hub campaign. The illustrated card shows all the street names in Sopwell - Find your street! Designed for you to frame at home, if you wish. See image on main project page. Available for email or collection only from AL1 St Albans.

£20 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Special Invite to Cottonmill Centre Open Day

We are offering a limited number of Special Invites to join in the celebrations on the Cottonmill Community and Cycling Centre Open Day. These invites are priced for donations at £5, £20, £35 - Please choose one to suit you. Meet the campaigners and special guests. Enjoy refreshments. Be the first to see the "Wall of Support" (engraved bricks), Honours Board and tour the centre. Dates to be confirmed April 2022.

£20 or more

16 of 24 claimed

Cycling Youth Coaching x 3 sessions at the Centre

Experienced coaches from Verulam Cycling Club provide three cycling coaching sessions for young person aged 5 -18 years. Provides necessary cycling knowledge/skills to progress to riding safely & efficiently. Basic requirement that riders must be able to confidently ride a bike e.g. completed primary school cycle proficiency course. Sessions to take place at the new centre's cycling facilities once after it has opened.

£30 or more

4 of 6 claimed

Vegetarian cookery class with The Cobbled Kitchen

50% Discount! Join Danielle from The Cobbled Kitchen on Wed 12th January 11am till 1pm. Small group cooks/learns from each other with tasty, easy, veggie dishes in fun all-hands-on-deck session. Nifty knife-skills & corner-cutting tricks to ensure delicious food. No recipes, just instinctive cooking. Take home a share of food made. Perfect gift for the foodie or the fussy eater in your life!

£35 or more

0 of 3 claimed

'Say Goodbye to Stress' Well Being session/course

Great discount on saying good bye to stress! Chantal Burns, bestselling local author, offers you this wellbeing package including: 1:1 well-being session, free access to her ‘Say Goodbye to Stress’ course and a signed copy of her No1 bestselling book Instant Motivation.

£40 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Custom made Hoody with your own logo

Special offer from Kushi Made. Get Custom Made hoody of choice with your own design/text 10cm x 10cm logo (worth £50). Surprise gift for a friend, or just for yourself! See

£50 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Party/ Special Occasion Hair and Make-up treat

50% Discount! For that special occasion or party - Opportunity to have a professional make-over at your own home. Hair and make-up - by full qualified hair and make-up artiste and top beauty influencer Suhalia Liaquat Artisan Beauty. Treat yourself or a loved one to this special of Hair and Make-up. Home visit in St Albans only. See Instagram @suhalialiaquatartisanbeauty

£50 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Wembley Ringside Boxing Tickets for 2

Ringside boxing tickets for 2 people at Wembley in March 2022. In The Ring Events deliver elite boxing events and live-experiences. "Our team of event managers tirelessly behind the scenes to provide you with the fullest experience and we are committed to provide you with a night to remember!" Exact date to be agreed.

£250 or more

0 of 1 claimed

'Tea for two people' with Daisy Cooper MP

We are delighted to offer:Exclusive opportunity for two people together to enjoy a cuppa and a chat with Daisy Cooper, MP for St Albans. This is a very special treat for you, and a friend. Daisy is a passionate internationalist, keen environmentalist and passionately supports the NHS, and our local football team! Daisy also keenly supports the businesses and residents of St Albans, and loves to chat with local people. Cuppa will be in St Albans

£4 or more

2 of 2 claimed

Year's membership St Albans Cycling Campaign

Money off one year's subscription for St Albans Cycling Campaign. Gift for the cyclist in your life! They campaign for better cycling conditions in St Albans -since 1998. Notable successes include cycle routes across Verulamium Park & more cycle stands at St Albans City station than any other station in the UK (until Cambridge overtook!).

£10 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Eco-products and gifts - Jefferson Crafts voucher

Jefferson Crafts ( creates eco-products and home made gifts. Hand-made, ethical and sustainable materials. You can buy online (free delivery with this reward if St Albans) or find them at Friday stalls in St Albans or at the indoor market Watford: also at local farmers markets.

£10 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Pots of Art voucher

Voucher towards you creating your own original colourful pottery masterpiece, a fantastic ceramic impression of your babies hands and feet, build a 'Be My Bear', create Spin Art or be creative with Decopatch. Fully equipped studios - with the help of our arty staff, anyone can be creative. Pots of Art, Holywell Hill, St Albans AL1

£10 or more

1 of 1 claimed

HOB Hair Salon Blow Dry with senior stylist

50% Discount for 'On the Day' Blow Dry at HOB Salon St Albans - tailored to your personal style with lasting results - from Senior Stylist Craig or Lauren.

£11 or more

2 of 2 claimed

Name a Star gift

You can name a star visible in the UK for someone special. Comes with entry into the registry and your very own A4 Star Name deed. Unique gift for someone special. Collection only from AL1. Courtesy Memorabilia Framers & Vache Blue Galleries in The Maltings Shopping Centre, St Albans.

£12 or more

2 of 2 claimed

Wagamama's St Albans gift voucher

Get your meal voucher worth £15 for Wagamama's St Albans "True nourishment from bowl to soul" with 50% of their menu now plant-based. For you - or a great gift for a friend!

£15 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Eco-products and gifts - Jefferson Crafts voucher

Jefferson Crafts ( creates eco-products and home made gifts. Hand-made, ethical and sustainable materials. You can buy online (free delivery with this reward if St Albans) or find them at Friday stalls in St Albans or at the indoor market Watford: also at local farmers markets.

£15 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Bobble Hat

Lovely bobble hat to keep you or a friend warm over the winter months. Supplied by Up We Pop - the Independent ladies' boutique based in St. Albans, selling Italian; clothing, handbags and jewelry at affordable prices. Treat yourself - or it will make a great gift! This reward will have to be collected from AL1 St Albans - we will notify you by email.

£17 or more

5 of 5 claimed

WUKA period underwear

One pair of WUKA sustainable and ethical period pants (worth up to £25 each). WUKA replace plastic-riddled disposable pads & tampons with the world’s most comfortable and sustainable period underwear. Thongs, Bikini, Hipsters, Midi, High-Waist, Lace. For light, medium and heavy flow; "WUKA believes that nothing should hold you back on your period" Your choice from the WUKA website

£20 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Complete Dog Groom includes bath/hair cut!

50% Discount! Scrufts Dog Grooming offer a standard complete dog groom for small/medium sized dog only (worth £40). Includes bath/hair cut. Scrufts is a modern, clean and fun-loving dog-grooming salon in Vesta Avenue, St Albans, run by professional groomers. They aim to change what can be a difficult and stressful time to a visit full of positive experiences.

£24 or more

1 of 1 claimed

One to One Yoga Session

Treat yourself or stressed out friend to a 1 to 1 yoga session with local teacher, Emily Hornsby. (20% discount! - worth £30). Emily recently qualified with Diploma from Apanaveda School of Yoga; accredited by the Independent Yoga Network. She works with Raja Yoga, or restorative, gentle yoga. Emily originally trained as a ballet dancer, before taking a degree in philosophy/women's studies and then working in International Development.

£26 or more

2 of 2 claimed

Luxury Flower Bouquet

25% Discount - Gift Voucher for a beautiful bouquet of luxury flowers - worth £35 - from ElleBelleFlowers, a St Albans based luxury florist. Order online for free delivery anywhere in Hertfordshire. See more at

£30 or more

1 of 1 claimed

La Cosa Nostra meal for two

Meal for two (£40 value) at La Cosa Nostra Monday - Thursday only. Cosa Nostra is a popular family-run local restaurant serving up delicious authentic Italian food in St Albans for 25 years. It's a favourite destination and always a fun night out!

£30 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Honest Burger meal for 2 people

Meal for 2 + 2 drinks. Honest Burger in St Christopher's Place use British produce to make the best burgers. They use British cheese, British veg and British relish. "We’re homegrown and homemade – we always have been and we always will be." Enjoy for yourself, or give as a gift!

£30 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Tavah restaurant meal voucher for two people

Tavah restaurant, on Hatfield Road are offering you and a friend a meal for two people with £40 value. Inspired by the cast iron frying pans used in cuisines of Central, Western & South Asia, Tavah is St Albans first Pakistani eatery. The restaurant launched using the motto ‘Pakistani food with passion’. Halal food.

£30 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Moveology - Deep Tissue and Remedial Massage

50% Discount! Moveology offers you one Deep Tissue and remedial massage. Relief from aches and pains. Moveology treat back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, nerve pain; sports injury, muscular problems, sciatic issues, headaches or joint problems.. All treated at Moveology. Location is centre of St Albans. See more at OR Facebook, Twitter and Insta @moveologyuk Session value is £60.

£34 or more

1 of 1 claimed

New Year New You! 6-week online Pilates course

New Year, new you! 50% Discount! Join us for our 6 week online Pilates course for a full body workout - 4 x 30min workouts per week. Suited to beginners who would like to work on their posture and get started with Pilates. This course is delivered via our app and you will have full support from your teacher via messaging and videos. Great way to kick start 2022!

£37 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Reward yourself to a dazzling smile!

50% Discount! A free 45 minute scale and polish, worth £75, by local dental hygienist Diane Bailey at the Family Dental Practice on Vesta Avenue. Diane gained her qualifications from Guys Hospital in 2003 and has worked at the Vesta Avenue Practice for the last 7 years.

£45 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Afternoon Tea for Two at Sopwell House Hotel

Treat for you or a gift for a friend? Indulge in a Spot of Afternoon Tea at Sopwell House Hotel - for two people - mid-week. Served with a beautiful tiered stand complete with seasonal delicious delicacies and pastries, homemade scones with Devonshire clotted cream, Strawberry preserve and traditional finger sandwiches, Afternoon Tea at Sopwell House is a treat not to be missed. See more at

£45 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Fitness Assessment+2 training sessions -JJFitness

50% Discount! Kickstart your fitness for 2022 with 2 x one-to-one personal training sessions with Jackie from JJ Fitness Included: full movement and fitness assessment, two bespoke training session and a personalised workout plan to take away Value £90 for two sessions. See more at Facebook @JJFitnessStAlbans

£46 or more

1 of 1 claimed

5-weeks of Pilates classes

New Year, new you! 40% Discount!! Join 'In The Log Cabin' for Pilates classes at our award winning studio for a 5 week term (worth £75) or try our 6 week (worth £69) online course. We have the full range of Pilates equipment including reformers and towers and our experienced teachers will help you get fitter and stronger. Suitable for all levels and abilities. Great way to kick start 2022!

£50 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Two tickets to see The Lion King + coach travel

Fantastic reward! Full value = £144!! Get 2 tickets for stalls seats + coach travel to see evening performance of The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre on Thursday 27th Jan. No transport hassle - Pick up from Westminster Lodge AL1 5pm - drops you off outside theatre and return. This would usually cost you £144 - generously donated by Janet's Theatre Trips.

£80 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Professional Santoku 8-piece Chef Knives Set

Beautiful, Professional Santoku 8 Piece Damascus Chef Knives. Handmade from steel. Generously donated by local company Edwards King of Smoke. Pro chef's stainless steel knives designed for the kitchen - the top choice of both home chefs and professionals alike: 8" Chef knife; 8" Bread knife; 8" Slice knife; 7"Santoku knife; 5" Santoku knife; 3.5" Paring knife; 7" Cleaver knife; 6" Bonin. See more Insta @Edwards_King_Of_Smoke (RRP £99.99)

£90 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Christo's BBQ party for six guests - all veggie!

At just £15 per person! Find six of your friends to join pub landlord Christo Tofalli at his 11th century St Albans pub. 'Ye Olde Fighting ....'. Enjoy learning how to make an amazing plant-based feast with a lot of fun, laughter and feasting. Mid week - dates by arrangement - from 15 Jan to 31 March 2022. A great gift for a party of six people to enjoy this one-off special experience!

£100 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Lunch x 2 with County Councillor Sandy Walkington

Lunch for you and a friend is on Sandy! Sandy Walkington is the county councillor for St Albans South which includes Sopwell. He has been a local politician for more years than he can remember and has supported the centre from the outset. He’s always up for lunch and a good chat - either over a pint at the pub or over a curry, it’s your choice. A treat for you & friend, or a great gift!

£144 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Wine Club Six Case - 20% OFF! 3 month subscription

20% off Cellar Door Wines' 3 month subscription for 6 bottles of wine a month - that's 18 bottles of select wines! "We pride ourselves in getting to know ..our customers' preferences, so we can tailor your wine drinking to suit your taste" See more From Cellar Door Wines - independent wine merchant on the Verulam Industrial Estate.

£150 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Dylan's Gin Tasting experience for group of six

A private gin tasting for 6 people (mid week). Enjoy gin flights, while Roberto takes you through the history of gin in England throughout the centuries. Date (Mon -Thurs) by arrangement; valid from 15 Jan to 31 March 2022

£180 or more

1 of 1 claimed

6-course wine tasting/food pairing for 4 people

An amazing specially created evening for four lucky people at The Lower Red Lion with owner David Worcester - a 6-course wine tasting and food pairing evening. What a great gift for that special anniversary or birthday! Or maybe its your own treat? The Lower Red Lion is a 17th Century pub with cracking food and award-winning ales. (date tbd in Jan/Feb).

£240 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Indulge! Sopwell House Hotel Spa Day +Lunch- for 2

Be rewarded! Sopwell House Hotel Spa Day + Lunch -for two people! ... The Club Day | Mon - Thurs 9am-6pm. Use of The Club at Cottonmill facilities, includes all Cottonmill facilities + indoor/outdoor hydrotherapy pool, Whisper Room, Deep Relaxation Room, Garden Room, luxurious spa gardens & much more. (Worth £320.) Includes three course lunch in The Pantry for two. What a gift! See more

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