Claire Tiltman Centre

After a number of years of delays and a global pandemic to deal with, the Claire Tiltman Centre will finally open its doors in October 2021.

In line with objectives in the council’s three-year Strategic Plan, the new facility has a primary focus on youth and ecology activities that aim to teach valuable knowledge and skills for living in a environmentally-friendly and sustainable way.

The centre will provide a dedicated base for the Brent 6th Scout Group, which provides sessions for around 150 children per week from age four (Beavers) through to 18 (Explorers), as well as enable local access to Duke of Edinburgh award activities.

The facility will also focus heavily on ecology improvements and environmental benefits.

The building itself has been built to be eco-friendly, with a mechanical ventilation heating and air cooling system, solar photovoltaic panels, rainwater harvesting and electric vehicle charging points.

The centre comprises of a large hall with a capacity of up to 250 people, seminar room for up to 40 people, and large kitchen with a number of cooking stations and breakout/dining space.

Provision also includes showers and washing facilities and is fully DDA compliant throughout.

Externally, the centre aims to encourage sustainable travel to the site by walking or cycling and has installed generous covered bicycle parking to support this. Two electric vehicle charging points will be installed, with the site benefiting from a further 29 car parking spaces.

Over four-acres of green space provides a fantastic space for outdoor pursuits, as well as enabling extensive planting of trees, hedges and plants to support ideas for a Forest School, community orchard, and bug-and-bee-friendly features. We are delighted to be partnering with the Kent Wildlife Trust to establish a valuable ecology resource, which can act as a source of education for local young people and the wider community to promote sustainable living.

Further use of the centre will be developed over the next few months to enable community hire for eco-friendly social events and weddings, as well as establishing volunteer and activity groups to support the resource and enable further expansion of provision and services.

Who is Claire Tiltman?

Claire Tiltman

Claire Tiltman was the only child of parish residents Cliff and Linda Tiltman, who lived in Woodward Terrace.

Claire had celebrated her 16th birthday four days before she was brutally murdered in a Greenhithe alleyway on 18th January 1993.

At the time of her death, she had just finished her bronze Duke of Edinburgh award at a local fire station and according to former classmates, had ‘absolutely loved it’ and dreamt of becoming a fire fighter.

Despite lengthy investigations, her killer was not brought to justice for a further 21 years, until local man Colin Ash-Smith was charged with her murder after divulging details of the crime to a fellow inmate, while serving a prison sentence for similar attacks on two other women.

The council resolved to pay tribute to Claire by naming the new community centre at Cotton Lane after her.

Chairman of the Council Lucy Canham said,

“Claire Tiltman was a Stone Parish resident who had her whole life ahead of her. She had undertaken her bronze Duke of Edinburgh award at a local fire station and had dreams of becoming a firefighter.

However, just days after her 16th birthday in January 1993, Claire was tragically murdered. Her parents spent the rest of their lives seeking justice, but sadly passed before seeing her killer convicted.
 
After so much tragedy, the council was keen that something positive could be attributed to Claire’s memory.
 
The council’s new building at Cotton Lane seemed the perfect tribute as it is designed to support provision of vital skills and knowledge to young people, to enable them to prosper in life in a way that Claire was sadly unable to.
 
The council decided to name the new centre after Claire to honour her strength of character and inspire young people to reach their full potential.

We hope this tribute will ensure that Claire will always be remembered.”