Originally, congregating as a football team in the mid 1970’s that called themselves GR and played in the coronation league from a base in Handsworth, the original committee was made up of friends: Stathis Efstathiou (Chairman), Michael Sotiris, Xenis Elia, Nicolas Nicolaou, George Papageorgiou and Panayiotis Elia.
In 1980 the committee became a Friendly Society granting them the legal right to own land and property in the name of their trustees amongst other important benefits. They sought to find a home for their community’s social activities and began by renting a small building on Station road in Erdington. The ever increasing size of the Greek Cypriot community began to outgrow the centre very quickly and greater space was needed.
The newly elected committee who would lead the change, and become the new trustees were chaired by Eleftherios Christodoulou, Christodoulous Frangeskou, Nicos Zachariou, Demetrios Pittas and Demetrios Savvides. They also enlisted the help of George Yiacoumi.
The Magnet Centre was purchased from the GEC by the Greek Cypriot community members in May of 1984 supported by grant aid provided by the former West Midlands County Council and Inner City Partnership programme.
In 1985 Birmingham City Council acquired from the GEC the adjoining 13.5 acres of Magnet recreation fields, thus facilitating football, cricket, bowls, tennis, hockey and also offered considerable scope for informal play and conservation amongst members of the Greek Cypriot and the local community in Erdington. The fields are managed by Magnet Sports and Social Club through which the original football club (since renamed Kypros FC) are actively involved.
2006 saw the Friendly Society become an Industrial and Provident Society governed by the FSA. This change of status enabled it to become an Association with limited liability therefore offering protection to the trustees and upon membership issue a share based on ‘one share, one vote’ basis. The Magnet Centre is now wholly owned by the Association as its own legal entity. The Midlands Greek Cypriot Association gained exempt charitable status from HMRC in 2008 thus enabling it to claim gift aid on the valuable donations that it needs to maintain its presence in the UK’s second city.
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