The community centre, run by Winnall Community Association, remained open whilst the improvements were made over the summer. Now visitors will benefit from a brand new café area as well as improved storage, toilets and flooring. Energy saving and emergency lighting has been integrated, meaning that the venue is more cost efficient than before.
Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, Councillor Andrew Gibson, attended the official opening on 30 September for the plaque unveiling, and to see the raft of improvements thanks to funding from the County Council’s Community Buildings Capital Fund.
Councillor Gibson said:
Community centres are an important lifeline to people of all ages, with neighbourhoods using them for a range of social activities. It’s great to know that the Winnall community now has a modern facility which can be run in a sustainable and more cost effective way, and that the building space itself is being used effectively for its visitors to enjoy.
The centre is popular among different age groups in the community, including a joint venture with the Salvation Army to provide a Breakfast Club for all Winnall Primary School children.
Ron Fenech from Winnall Community Association, explained:
On behalf of Winnall Community Association and the wider community, we thank Hampshire County Council for this vital funding. I would also like to thank the many business sponsors who have come forward and generously donated their time, materials and workforce to help Winnall with the centre development. We look forward to welcoming residents and organisations through the doors to start enjoying the updated facilities and we know that this vibrant environment will make a big difference to people’s lives.
Work is continuing on an outside children’s softplay area to appeal to younger visitors.
Winnall Community Association’s grant for the community centre was approved in April this year, as part of over £570,000 of funding from the County Council for community halls and centres, with money also given to sites in Warsash, Broughton and Rowner, Gosport.
Find out more about the Community Buildings Capital Fund