Unveiling centre’s fresh look

Freshbrook Village Centre has undergone a revamp

Freshbrook Village Centre has undergone a revamp

First published in News by

THE £90,000 regeneration of Freshbrook Village Centre is ready to be unveiled with a special relaunch next week.

As part of the initiative to revitalise all the village centres in Swindon, which was cut back last year, the centre in Freshbrook has had a much-needed facelift which is hoped will improve traffic flow and footfall while reducing anti-social behaviour.

Stephanie Bird, of the Freshbrook Community Centre, said she is pleased with how work has developed and is looking forward to enjoying the benefits.

“It is looking a great deal better, and the car park is much more open,” she said. “There is nowhere for people to hide now, which was a problem before with people hanging around after dark.

“They probably could have got more parking spaces in, and I do feel like there are too many disabled spaces that have been installed. There are seven or eight of them, and I have not seen them being used once.

“The parking spaces are lined up and marked out clearly with bricks so there will not be so many issues with people parking all over the place.”

Stephanie added the work had been needed for some time as the centre became dilapidated.

“The centre had been overgrown and dark,” she said. “It was quite scary for some of the older residents, especially at night. It was just generally run down.

“The work has gone quite smoothly, and while we have had a couple of issues getting into the car park, it hasn’t affected us greatly and it hasn’t been a problem. Hopefully we will be more visible now. The place is a lot less threatening and hopefully people aren’t going to hang around quite as much as they used to.“ Coun Cindy Matthews (Lab, Lydiard and Freshbrook) said the new centre was a welcome sight but may have taken too long to put together.

“I do not know that it should have taken more than two years to get to where it has got now. That is a colossal amount of time for something that is not dramatically different.

“It has been quite chaotic while it has been there, because they have been taking up a lot of the car parking spaces and there has been builder’s stuff everywhere.”

“We would hope that people would feel happier to shop and use the community centre as a result. At night some of the old people would get quite nervous but hopefully with the new set-up they will feel safer and more comfortable.

“It is a well-used and wonderful community centre and this will help increase their footfall.”

The centre will be officially relaunched with a special event between 10am and 2pm on 27 May, with a bouncy castle, refreshments and representatives from local businesses taking part.

Comments (4)

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8:39am Sat 24 May 14

Mikerb72 says...

£90,000 spent on what?

They removed the old raised planters (which the council had neglected to maintain in the first place). They block paved these areas paying no attention to levels and drainage, so when it rains the carpark still grows massive puddles.

Yes they have put in parking bays for the disabled, and whilst Ms. Bird says there are to many, it makes no difference, as plenty of people without blue badges are using them anyway.

They removed several benches used by the elderly residents, and have only bothered to put 3 benches back. There have been no additional rubbish bins added to the area, so the amount of litter will not be reduced in any way.
The paved area outside the local pub is still not finished, and won't be unless the workers complete this over the weekend.
They built fencing around the recycling bins at the enterance to the centre, this has already be vandalised and will continue to be.
The new planting at the enterance has already had several of the plants stolen, and furture lack of maintenance will mean it will become overgrown again and look as bad as it did before.
The new sign by the sculpture has already been removed, as some child injured themselves on it. Why did the council even bother putting one up, it's only ever been used by the kids to climb over, or the evening drunks to drink at.
But lets celebrate the council wasting more money on a project, which should have taken far less time, and a lot more thought.
£90,000 spent on what? They removed the old raised planters (which the council had neglected to maintain in the first place). They block paved these areas paying no attention to levels and drainage, so when it rains the carpark still grows massive puddles. Yes they have put in parking bays for the disabled, and whilst Ms. Bird says there are to many, it makes no difference, as plenty of people without blue badges are using them anyway. They removed several benches used by the elderly residents, and have only bothered to put 3 benches back. There have been no additional rubbish bins added to the area, so the amount of litter will not be reduced in any way. The paved area outside the local pub is still not finished, and won't be unless the workers complete this over the weekend. They built fencing around the recycling bins at the enterance to the centre, this has already be vandalised and will continue to be. The new planting at the enterance has already had several of the plants stolen, and furture lack of maintenance will mean it will become overgrown again and look as bad as it did before. The new sign by the sculpture has already been removed, as some child injured themselves on it. Why did the council even bother putting one up, it's only ever been used by the kids to climb over, or the evening drunks to drink at. But lets celebrate the council wasting more money on a project, which should have taken far less time, and a lot more thought. Mikerb72
  • Score: 5

9:48pm Sat 24 May 14

trolley dolley says...

There is no point in blaming the Council for their efforts in Freshbrook.

It is the locals who are getting drunk, vandalising things, dropping litter and stealing plants.

I don't see people from other areas driving over to Freshbrook to steal a few plants, do you.
There is no point in blaming the Council for their efforts in Freshbrook. It is the locals who are getting drunk, vandalising things, dropping litter and stealing plants. I don't see people from other areas driving over to Freshbrook to steal a few plants, do you. trolley dolley
  • Score: 2

4:52pm Sun 25 May 14

Blackwell 2 says...

There is no point in blaming the Council for their efforts in Freshbrook.

It is the locals who are getting drunk, vandalising things, dropping litter and stealing plants.


Bizarre.
I was told Swindon is better now
[quote]There is no point in blaming the Council for their efforts in Freshbrook. It is the locals who are getting drunk, vandalising things, dropping litter and stealing plants. [/quote] Bizarre. I was told Swindon is better now Blackwell 2
  • Score: 0

8:37pm Sun 25 May 14

house on the hill says...

Blackwell 2 wrote:
There is no point in blaming the Council for their efforts in Freshbrook.

It is the locals who are getting drunk, vandalising things, dropping litter and stealing plants.


Bizarre.
I was told Swindon is better now
Better than what though?
[quote][p][bold]Blackwell 2[/bold] wrote: [quote]There is no point in blaming the Council for their efforts in Freshbrook. It is the locals who are getting drunk, vandalising things, dropping litter and stealing plants. [/quote] Bizarre. I was told Swindon is better now[/p][/quote]Better than what though? house on the hill
  • Score: 0

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