A NEW community hub has been officially opened following a £550k project.

Southcote Community Centre has been extended to provide modern services, including a library, children's centre and upgraded facilities.

Construction on the extension of the 1960s building got underway in May and the centre was unveiled by the Mayor of Reading, councillor Debs Edwards, on Tuesday.

This is one of a number of new community hubs being developed by Reading Borough Council, with a view to providing a shared location for a range of services.

Cllr Edwards, who represents the Southcote ward, said: “I am thrilled to be carrying out the official opening of the wonderful new Southcote Community Hub.

“This upgraded centre will offer a wide range of services and activities for the local community and a valuable meeting space for local groups in much improved surroundings.

“I am looking forward to seeing the community hub buzzing with people enjoying the facilities and joining in courses and activities offered by Southcote IT Experience SITE and the Southcote Community Association.”

The single-storey extension on the side of the building incorporates a new main entrance. It will also house a multi-purpose/IT training room.

A new external fire exit door from the main hall provides access to a communal garden with a soft play area for children.

Councillor Sophia James, lead member for Neighbourhoods and Communities, added: “Southcote Community Hub is a fantastic facility which brings together a host of popular services under one roof.

“Families will be able make use of the children’s centre, pop into the library and get-together with friends in the community meeting space during a visit to the hub.

“I would like to congratulate everyone who has been involved in creating this space which I’m sure will be well used by the Southcote community.”

The hub will be the new home for Southcote Library, while the Toy Library, which was previously based in Southcote, has moved to Central Library to improve access to this resource for families across the borough.