Ardagh Community Trust (ACT) is a charity run by local volunteers.

ACT was created so that local residents could take on responsibility for managing The Ardagh, to keep it as a public asset, for use and enjoyment by the community.

ACT is a charity which does not receive any core funding. Our charity registration number is 1172256. The charity raises money through making applications for external grant funding and by running services through our social enterprise.

ACT employs 25+ people, and is a proud Real Living Wage Employer. The Café on the Common is a social enterprise which generates income to help pay for the running costs of the Ardagh site, while the Trust continues to fundraise for the costs of capital improvements to the sports courts and leisure facilities, public gardens and environmental improvements.

We are committed to sustainable operations and to increasing our positive social and environmental impact.

Bristol One City: View from the Ardagh

Bristol’s One City Gathering – Fri 27th May 2022

ITV News: What's life like at the Ardagh?

ITV News Broadcast – Live – Thurs 26th May 2022

The Café on the Common

Future vision...what happens next?


We are constantly seeking to build partnerships with local organisations and have growing links with Family Food Action, SEND-A-Welcome, My Community, Claremont School, City of Bristol College, Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust, Redcatch Community Garden, Age UK Bristol, Southmead Development Trust, The Misfits Theatre, Invisible Circus and many more local organisations working to develop opportunities for wellbeing, education, leisure, activity and sport.


Garden development/nursery

The gardens are a vital part of The Ardagh and  have undergone a spectacular regeneration through the hard work and dedication of our gardening team. As a result of their success we plan to establish a plant nursery so everyone can enjoy the plants and flowers grown at The Ardagh.

ACT’s gardening volunteer group grow vegetables in raised planting beds for use in the café and for donation to Family Food Action (FFA) which is on site weekly on Tuesdays. 

Fresh vegetables grown on site are donated by FFA to partners for distribution to families in need in our local area.


Sports Courts...and more

ACT has a vision for a community hub offering space and facilities for sport, play, performance and learning. In response to community feedback we are developing plans for improvements to the site, which will enable The Ardagh to be an  adaptable and widely used resource for all to enjoy. 


Please check back here for further details – expected Winter 2022.


Capital Regeneration Project

The Ardagh site had been in decline for more than two decades when ACT secured a community asset transfer lease for The Ardagh in 2019. The lease currently excludes two areas of the site; part of the pavilion and the bowling green itself. Ensuring a sustainable future for the whole Ardagh site as a community asset has always been the aim of Ardagh Community Trust. 

Currently we are waiting for confirmation on how these excluded areas of the site will be sustainably managed and maintained into the future. ACT has a 35-year lease and external funders want to know how these areas will be maintained throughout this time as they are adjacent to areas covered by the lease held by ACT. Power To Change were prepared to work flexibly to enable the café project to go ahead, but it is now difficult to progress further with fundraising for significant improvements to other areas of the site until this is confirmed. 

In the meantime, ACT are developing plans and proposals informed by ongoing community feedback – updated in response to use of the site throughout the pandemic and ongoing -and will be sharing these in late 2022. Future plans must ensure that they reflect community need (existing and emerging), so that we have a realistic understanding of the costs that will be involved in achieving them and can start fundraising in earnest to improve the quality and sustainability of all of the facilities here.

Additionally we are fundraising for, and delivering a range of, smaller projects to improve access which is our highest priority. We are currently working on projects including:

  • Paths – improvement works (access and inclusion)
  • Changing Places facility (access and inclusion)
  • Replacing paper towels with hand driers in toilets (environmental)
  • Basketball Posts & Nets (play)
  • Gardening for Wellbeing (health)
  • Community Plant Nursery (social enterprise)

‘The MIsfits Theatre Poetry Group’ perform in the gardens for the Platinum Jubilee, June 2022. 

‘Outside the Café’, Platinum Jubilee Community Festival, June 2022.

How you can get involved:

Become a member of ACT

Becoming a member of ACT enables people to demonstrate their support and to have a voice in how the organisation is managed and developed. 

Details of how to become a member of ACT are on our Membership page. 


Become one of our #Ardagh100

The Ardagh site will be 100 years old in 2026 and ACT is recruiting local volunteers who would like to help us plan for it’s next 100!

More information on this to follow in the coming months. 


ACT welcomes volunteers to work with the organisation in a wide range of ways. For more details visit our Volunteering page.