Southgate Community Centre in Bury St Edmunds completes two-year refurbishment project
- Credit: Denna Ewing
A charity-run community centre in Bury St Edmunds threw open its doors to residents, guests and dignitaries last week to celebrate the completion of a two-year refurbishment project.
Southgate Community Centre, on the Nowton Estate, was built four decades ago, and its assets and activities were transferred to the Southgate Community Partnership charity in 2011.
The centre is the hub of the community with some 30 different groups and more than 300 visitors using its facilities each week as well as hosting Southgate Church on Sundays.
Dedicated volunteer trustees held paint parties to redecorate the halls and interior of the building.
The improvement project was supported by grants from Bury St Edmunds Town Council as well as locality funding from St Edmundsbury Borough councillors.
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Improvements to the centre included the replacement of 150 ageing chairs, sanding of the main hall floor and painting the stained dark ceiling.
The tiled and linoleum floors in the small hall and atrium area were also replaced, along with the installation of new lightweight London Wall partition doors and a brand new coffee bar and kitchen area.
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Andy Abbott, chairman of trustees, thanked councillors for their support.
“When I was elected chairman two years ago I attended the church and the first thing I saw was one of the old decrepit chairs collapsing and depositing it’s owner on the floor,” he said.
“I went cap in hand to the town council and by the weekend was driving a hire van to Peterborough with funding to purchase new banqueting chairs.
“Since then we have not stood still as the more you improve then the more seems to need to be done.
“We are hugely thankful to the town council for their amazing support and funding without which a lot of this work would not be financially viable.
“Also our local councillors Sarah Stamp, Patrick Chung, Ann Williamson and Richard Rout who all are, or have been, trustees and support the initiatives with their locality funding.”
Town council chairman Andrew Speed and town clerk Greg Luton cut a cake at the celebration with local tradespeople, trustees and guests present.
Mayor and mayoress of St Edmundsbury Terry and Vivienne Clements presented a cheque for more than £760 to the MyWiSH Charity – raised from the Valentines Ball held at the community centre in February.