ACNA Centre was set up to improve the quality of life for African Caribbean people living or working in Nottingham during the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s racial discrimination affected black people in housing, education, employment and social interaction. It was difficult for African Caribbean people to hire premises for social functions or activities.
Black groups formed to challenge this discrimination and promote social cohesion. These groups included the West Indian Nationals Association (WINA), the National Association for Coloured Development (NACD), Solidarity for Protection against Deprivation and Exploitation (SPADE) and the West Indian Students Association (WISA).
The most pressing need at that time was to acquire premises to house the various activities organised by African Caribbean people. Several promises were made to provide premises for the back people of Nottingham to hold their social functions but none of these promises materialised.
In 1969 it was proposed that the old Blue Coat School should be closed down and its use changed to house an International Community Centre.
Black groups in the City were invited to discuss how best they could utilise the facilities of the proposed Centre (ICC). At the meeting SPADE and NACD, argued that African Caribbean people needed their own premises, which they could use to meet the needs of their community. Subsequently they withdrew from the proposed scheme.
After the meeting, SPADE and the NACD, amalgamated and formed the Black People’s Freedom Movement. It was agreed that this organisation would incorporate and acquire premises where African Caribbean people could develop recreational, social and educational activities for all age groups in the community.