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Plans to give social hub a big facelift

Published: 29 Mar 2012 12:302 comments

AMBITIOUS plans to transform an ageing community centre into a thriving social hub are on show this week.

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Reading Borough Council is unveiling architects' impressions of proposed renovations to Southcote Youth And Community Centre, in Coronation Square.

The scheme, which includes refurbishing the centre's lounge, kitchen, toilets and entrance, is part of a deal to improve community facilities on the estate to replace the Happy Prospect pub.

The badly damaged pub was knocked down last year and developers PMC Construction are building a 16-unit affordable housing complex in its place. But the company, which was granted planning permission last autumn, must contribute towards improving the community centre, as part of the deal. The authority, which has spent nearly a year canvassing neighbours' views, is also providing extra money from its Decent Neighbourhoods Fund.

Council communities and neighbourhoods leader, Cllr Rachel Eden, said: "We want the community centre to be somewhere people in Southcote are part of and it's only right residents shape it. I would encourage everyone in the neighbourhood to come along and tell us what they think."

The plans went on show at a drop-in session yesterday (Wednesday) and there are two remaining sessions at the community centre from 2-5pm tomorrow (Friday) and 10.30am-12.30pm on Saturday.

Questionnaires, which are also being distributed to all homes on the estate, can be returned to Southcote Library, Southcote Advice Shop or the Community Centre. Neighbours are also needed to join a streering group to help develop the plans.

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