Eco friendly community centre in demand

Swindon Advertiser: Christ Church community centre manager Chris Smith is appealing for more volunteers because of high demand at the newly opened centre Buy this photo » Christ Church community centre manager Chris Smith is appealing for more volunteers because of high demand at the newly opened centre

A new state-of-the-art community centre has opened in Old Town and already demand for the new facility has gone through the roof.

The centre at Christ Church has been completed after more than six months of construction work.

Despite some minor hold-ups everything went to plan and now groups of all types are using the building, from the Scouts to church groups.

Development manager Chris Smith said: “It’s fantastic to have it in use and it’s been really busy in the short time it has been open.

“It is something we hope everyone will use as it is a facility for the whole community, not only church groups. The first time it was used was a perfect example of this.

“The Pipers Way Residents’ Association held a meeting and there were over 100 people who took part which is exactly what we want to see.”

The new building replaces the old community centre which had been in use for 40 years. It was initially built in Croatia before being shipped over in parts and erected in Swindon.

In order to make it as eco-friendly as possible the new centre is heated by a ground source heat pump with electricity supplied from a 20kwh solar panel array on the roof.

The area leading into the community centre has also been re-surfaced, meaning there is a 40 space car park, as well as three disabled spaces.

It offers a variety of resources from a 130-person room for larger groups to 20-person conference rooms.

Chris said: “I want to thank everyone who has helped bring this together. They have worked really hard and I am very grateful.

“There have been a lot of people involved in the process, including a lot of volunteers which has been good. A lot of people have also come forward offering to help run the centre. We have volunteer cleaners as well as some people who will meet and greet people when they arrive.”

Despite only being open for a short period of time, bookings for next year are already coming in thick and fast.

Everything from music groups to yoga classes will use the new premises.

Anyone who wishes to book the hall should contact bookonline@ccccswindon.co.uk.

The official opening will take place on January 17, when a special guest yet to be announced will cut the ribbon.

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