Community centre will be a 'landmark achievement'
WORK has got underway on a new £2.7 million community sports facility in Weston-super-Mare.
The new centre at Worle Community School is due to open early next year.
It will boast a range of new facilities including a full size 3G artificial turf pitch with floodlighting and a full-size hockey artificial turf pitch. There will also be a fitness gym, dance studio, multi-purpose sports room, indoor and outdoor changing rooms and a reception area.
A cafe will also be created, along with meeting rooms, toilets, office space and a community internet access point.
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As well as the centre being used by the school and local community, learning disabilities charity the Brandon Trust will also have a base there. Day care services for 40 people with learning difficulties, currently provided at the William Knowles Centre and at Banwell Pottery, will relocate and continue to be run by the trust.
The move comes after a survey of the William Knowles Centre in 2009 revealed a number of repairs were needed to the building and it was judged to be no longer fit for its current use.
North Somerset Council's community meals service, also currently based in cramped conditions at the William Knowles Centre, will also be transferred to the Worle School site.
Relocating these council services will save an estimated £92,000 a year.
Council leader Nigel Ashton, who visited the site for a turf cutting ceremony, said: "The new centre is a landmark achievement for the local community and Worle Community School."
The centre is being built by contractors Willmott Dixon South West.
The company's operations director, John Boughton, said: "The centre will have a major impact on the local community and we are proud to be working on such an innovative and exciting development."
The new development will help address a lack of community sports facilities in the Worle area, which is set to see an increase in its population once a development of 300 new houses gets underway at Weston Gateway.
Attendees at the turf cutting ceremony included North Somerset councillors, Worle School head teacher, Peter Binding, representatives from The Brandon Trust and council staff members who have been involved in the project.