The Sumac Centre is an independent community and social centre in Nottingham, UK. It is a secondary co-operative and a member of Radical Routes. It provides resources, meeting spaces and workshops for groups and individuals. It supports campaigning for human rights, animal rights, the environment, peace and co-operation world-wide. It is part of the UK Social Centre Network. Veggies is based at the centre.
Its origins can to traced to the Rainbow Centre, which was established in 1984.
In April 1984, a group of people based in Nottingham associated with the Environmental Fact Shop, Friends of the Earth (FoE) and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) founded the Rainbow Centre Co-operative. The following year in September the co-operative rented premises at 180 Mansfield Road, next door to the new FoE shop Earthwise. It was situated between the Victoria Shopping Centre and Forest Recreation Ground, on the junction with Huntingdon Street. The Rainbow Centre became an autonomous entity, free to expand its activities.
In 1988, the FoE shop next door to the Rainbow Centre closed. The Rainbow Centre inherited some of the FoE literature and stock, which was added to the centre's library and shop. Veggies moved into the closed shop. They had started out by working from their members' homes, moving in meant they had their own kitchen. Veggies and the Rainbow Centre worked together, later Veggies took on the day-to-day running of the Rainbow Centre.
In 1989, as the lease for the next door premises at Mansfield Road became available, the Rainbow Centre expanded its library, and once again opened a shop.
The Rainbow Centre was in a row of buildings that was very poorly maintained by the landlord. The rent and building condition were a drain on the collective's finances and enthusiasm. To resolve these problems, in Autumn 2000, the members of the Rainbow Centre and Veggies began to researching the possibility of buying a building of their own. In June 2001 they purchased, via a mortgage, a former Ukrainian Social Club in the Forest Fields, Nottingham. A year later, in June 2002, the renovation of the building was complete and the centre, having adopted the new name and identity of the Sumac Centre, was opened.
The NG7 Foodbank was based at the centre from mid 2012 until it closed at end of 2014. It closed partly due to the bank feeling that the council were using foodbanks as a long term strategy to avoid providing funds for welfare assistance.