Background

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The Community Action Project has been in the heart of the Windmill Lane neighbourhood since 1981. There was originally a tenants’ association existing for the neighbourhood but no black representation on it. Therefore, a number of black residents felt that they were neither getting adequate representation, nor political support for their community’s interest, and as a result, a committee of black residents was formed.

At the time that newly formed group consulted with other local African Caribbeans on what they as residents would like to get done and achieve. From that consultation a report went to the Housing Committee of Sandwell MBC, which basically requested a premises or flat to house meetings, and form a base for the group.

A flat was provided rent-free for six months and the first services provided by the organisation, childcare training, office work and research, was funded by the then Manpower Services Commission. The centre basically carried on like this for around ten years, providing basic training, and also for a number of years had a workshop for motor mechanics funded by the ‘Smethwick Initiative’. This closed down when the former TEC came in.

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CAP Centre is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. CAP Centre works in partnership with Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.