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Costessey: Community centre finished

PUBLISHED: 12:53 20 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:52 02 July 2010

Contractors, left, at the handover of the new community centre to local Costessey councillors, right.

Contractors, left, at the handover of the new community centre to local Costessey councillors, right.

Sam Emanuel

A new state-of-the art centre in Costessey which has been planned for 30 years has now been finished and the keys have been handed over to the council ready for community groups and clubs to start using it.

A new state-of-the art centre in Costessey which has been planned for 30 years has now been finished and the keys have been handed over to the council ready for community groups and clubs to start using it.

The £1.5m facility, which has been built on Longwater Recreation Ground to replace a dilapidated sports pavilion, will provide people living in the area with four changing rooms with showers and toilets, a community hall, a kitchen, a bar, offices and storage facilities.

In October, once the 30m by 22.5m centre is up and running, the youth and community centre on Breckland Road, Costessey, will be sold, and Costessey Parish Council is hoping it will have outline planning permission for a housing complex on the site by that time.

The council, which meets in the “dilapidated” and “wholly inadequate” Parish Rooms on Townhouse Road, will also move to the new building in the near future, and its current base will be auctioned off at a later date.

The facility will also have a car park and revamped tennis courts, and will be used by community groups including dance groups, a day centre for older people, a wrestling group, Norfolk Army Cadet Corps and other members of the public.

It will open to the public on Tuesday, May 4, but there will be an official opening with a fete on Monday, May 31.

Costessey Parish Council had been hoping to replace the pavilion since the mid-1980s, but a lack of council support and then a lack of funding meant the work could not go ahead until a £1m loan from the Public Works Loans Board and £500,000 of Section 106 money from Taylor Wimpey, the developers of nearby housing estate Lodge Farm, was secured.

The council is yet to receive the money from Taylor Wimpey, but the developers have promised it will be transferred the next few weeks.

Assistant parish clerk Richard Rymarz said: “I am delighted with the finished centre. Having overseen it as far as the parish office is concerned, it looks absolutely grand. It's bright and clean and well-lit, and there is a fantastic wooden floor.

“Morgan Ashurst had a 30 week contract, and it was only finished a week late, which is amazing given the weather we have had. It looks terrific and the feedback we have had from parishioners suggests they can't wait to get their hands on it.”

Are you revamping an area of your community or has your organisation benefitted from a major cash boost? Call reporter Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email sam.emanuel@archant.co.uk.

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