A new community hub is opening its doors for the first time this Saturday to give residents a sneak preview of what’s to come.

Swindon Hub will officially open in October, but volunteers are inviting people to come between 10am and 3pm on Saturday to meet each other and to help with a spot of cleaning.

Organisers hope the Hub will be a place where people can meet, eat, learn, create or run events.

Plans for the Hub, situated in the old River Island building on The Parade, include an arts space, a cafe, retail stands, a community theatre, and meeting and events spaces.

Volunteer Jol Rose, 55, said: “A community hub has never been more needed, particularly at this point in time.

“We are facing an explosion of mental health problems. It’s a national crisis caused by the various lockdowns, but it’s also happening in Swindon.

“The only way that we can really start to combat loneliness is to provide a warm, welcoming and safe place where people can come together as human beings and connect.

"We are keen that the people who have been hardest hit or are most hard to reach find a home at the hub.

“We need to clean the space up so we’re planning to have a big party atmosphere this Saturday where people can see the layout and start thinking about how we can use it.”

The 55-year-old always dreamt of bringing a shared community space to Swindon so, when he heard about the project eight months ago, he was keen to get involved.

The team hopes that the Hub will bring life back to the Town Centre.

The Old Town resident added: “We’re going to be hosting community activities, cultural events, social activities, daytime and evening so this will bring footfall to the area.”

The group of 20 volunteers are united in their commitment to environmental sustainability, both in the running of the Hub and in the workshops they intend to hold.

“Education is a big part of what we want to do and hopefully inspiring people in Swindon to think about what a sustainable lifestyle means.

"We need to play our part so we will provide information and displays on these issues."

Visitors are encouraged to bring cleaning products on Saturday.