Have your say on Norwich community hub plans

Sarah HallFamilies are being asked for their views on ambitious plans to develop three specialist community hubs on the sites of former Norwich schools.Sarah Hall

Families are being asked for their views on ambitious plans to develop three specialist community hubs on the sites of former Norwich schools.

Norfolk County Council successfully bid for �3m from the Department for Children, Schools and Families to develop the centres at the sites of two former schools and a pupil referral unit.

The proposals, which were first mooted in 2008, are to develop hubs with different specialisms in Bowthorpe, Heartsease and South Harford.

When the schools shut, families were asked whether they would like to see the former school sites kept for community use - and the answer was yes.

The new hubs will work with a range of agencies to provide services in the heart of Norwich's communities.

Services for young people and the wider community are already being run from the former Bowthorpe Pupil Referral Unit (PRU), Harford Middle School and Woodside First School and the cash will pay for improvements.

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Norfolk County Council also wants to develop an environmental hub in Bowthorpe, a health and leisure hub at the South Harford site and an early years and childcare hub at the Woodside site.

Shelagh Hutson, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for children's services, said: 'These hubs have the potential to provide fantastic facilities in the heart of Norwich's communities and we really need local people to tell us what they think of our plans and what they would like to see at the three sites.

'The hubs will provide a range of services around education, health and training that fit closely with our ambition for Norfolk's people to have high aspirations and access to local opportunities to meet their needs.'

Families will soon be receiving flyers through their door, asking for their views on the plans.

Anyone wishing to respond can write to: School Sites Review, Freepost IH2076, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich NR2 2BR; email james.bowell@norfolk.gov.uk or telephone 0344 800 8001.

The consultation closes on Saturday, April 17.

Do you have an education story? Call Evening News reporter Steve Downes on 01603 772495 or email steve.downes@archant.co.uk

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