Following a £700,000 refurbishment and remodelling scheme, people from Gosport, and beyond, are invited to come and get creative and meet new friends from 9am.
As a community hub, the Centre offers additional facilities and services including a new Older People’s Day Centre run by Age Concern; the Gosport and Fareham Wellbeing Centre run by Solent Mind; Citizens Advice; Health visiting services run by Southern Health; a Register Office for birth and death registration and the Bookworm Café.
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, said: “Since reopening, the Discovery Centre has welcomed over 6,500 visitors each week and this is set to rise even further, now that the Older People’s Day Centre is fully up and running.
“By bringing more services and resources under one roof we can ensure Gosport Discovery Centre stays at the heart of the community, enabling visitors to access multiple services at once and make the best use of their time to find events, groups and activities that interest them.
“In particular, the Older People’s Day Centre is a wonderful new facility, supporting some of our older residents to interact with their local community, which in turn is helping to combat loneliness. I am delighted that we have already had reports that some residents have been using the Discovery Centre more than they ever have thanks to the improvements we have made.”
Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, Councillor Seán Woodward said: “Gosport Discovery Centre is always so busy and lively with classes and community groups, and of course, with many people who come here purely for the love of a good book. If anyone in Gosport has not already explored their library, now is a great time!”
At Monday’s reopening event, with the Gosport Shed Ukulele Band sounding a grand welcome, visitors can enjoy a fun-packed day of activities that include participating in a community artwork project and testing their ukulele skills.
There will be opportunities to chat with the staff from the range of services that are now located in the building. Children will be able to enjoy craft activities, rhyme time, story time, and will even get to meet special guest Marshall, the fire-fighting pup from Paw Patrol.
Other facilities available at the Centre include meeting rooms which can be booked for use by community groups; and a ‘Changing Place’ toilet facility (for people whose needs are not met by standard accessible toilets), as well as additional accessible toilets, plus improved facilities for health clinics.
This investment in Gosport Discovery Centre forms part of the Library Service’s Strategy to 2020 and supports the County Council’s ethos of making the best possible use of public buildings and providing modern, vibrant community spaces for residents to enjoy. Information is available online about future events and activities taking place at Gosport Discovery Centre.
Meanwhile Hampshire County Council has also pledged to contribute to a planned project at the nearby Old Grammar School building. Hampshire Cultural Trust is seeking funding for an initial development phase to transform the building into a cultural centre. If the Trust is successful, the County Council will be contributing £400,000 to the project, which it is estimated will have a total value of nearly £2million.