£3m community centre will ‘breathe new life into area’

The Oxford Times: Community worker Jamie Clark pictured near to the proposed site of the new community centre in Rose Hill Recreation Ground Buy this photo Community worker Jamie Clark pictured near to the proposed site of the new community centre in Rose Hill Recreation Ground

LONG-AWAITED work on the Rose Hill Community Centre is set to start in just a few months’ time.

A £3million facility will replace the existing hub in The Oval, bringing together the social club, advice centre and youth club.

The centre, which could be finished in less than a year, will also provide a doctor’s surgery, community gym, a training kitchen and a new office for the police.

Community worker Fran Gardner said: “Whilst we have very fond memories of the old community centre, we are very much looking forward to the space and light and opportunities that the new building will bring.”

Her colleague Jamie Clark agreed: “I am very excited and I am sure it’s going to be fabulous. It will breathe new life into Rose Hill.”

Work on the community centre is due to start in July and expected to be complete by spring 2015.

In November 2012 the city council held a referendum asking residents if they wanted a new community centre or have the old one refurbished.

The overwhelming majority of the 585 residents who voted chose the new centre.

City councillor for Rose Hill Ed Turner, who is also deputy leader of the city council, said: “Our latest estimate is that work will be starting in July. Having gone out to tender we now have a shortlist of builders. We will then make a choice and that will take a few weeks before appointing someone. “The existing community centre is much-loved, but it clearly needs an awful lot of work doing to it and it makes sense to bring everything together so we can have a good centre for the community.”

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The new centre will be built on land currently occupied by the children’s playground off Ashhurst Way, and the play area will be relocated.

The existing sports pavilion will be demolished and new Sport England and Football Association compliant facilities will be provided in the new centre which will be owned by the city council.

The old building will not close until its replacement is built. It will then be demolished and replaced with housing.

Oxford City Council launched the tendering process to find a builder for the new Ashhurst Way community centre in February.

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