A NEW multi-use community hub for Southcote residents will be officially opened by the Mayor of Reading next week.
The Southcote Community Centre building in Coronation Square has been extended and a new hub has been created which will provide a modern library, children’s centre, a play area and upgraded facilities for community use.
Members of the community are invited to explore the new Southcote Community Hub during an official open day on Tuesday 30th October. Public guided tours will be held at 11am, 2pm and 6pm following an opening ceremony at 11am.
Work on the £550,000 project got under way in May with the beginning of construction of a new extension to the 1960s-built centre followed by the internal remodelling and improvements.
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 in the town centre to improve access to this resource for families across the borough.
The single-storey extension on the side of the building incorporates a new main entrance with a reception desk and generous sized entrance lobby, library space and a library store. It will also house the multi-purpose/IT Training Room.
Remodelling of the building has included the removal of some partition walls, replacement of the old curtain walling in the main hall and the construction of a new storage space and tea point in the hall.
Improvement works in the building include a refit of the main kitchen, new floor in the main hall, upgrade of the lighting and heating with new decoration throughout the building.
A new external fire exit door from the main hall provides access to a communal garden with a soft play area for children.
Southcote Library opened in its new location on 16th October and the Children’s Centre has continued to operate throughout the works. The neighbouring Lodge Nursery will continue to provide Children’s Centre services of midwifery, adult education and a crèche.
This is one of a number of new community hubs being developed by the Council to provide services and facilities for the community in one convenient location, making better use of public buildings and releasing surplus assets for disposal.
Cllr Sophia James, Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods and Communities, said:
“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.”
Reading Mayor Cllr Debs Edwards, who is also Southcote ward councillor, Chair of Southcote IT Experience (SITE) and member of the Southcote Community Association (SCA) 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 SITE and the SCA.”
Notes to Editors
Media are invited to send a reporter/photographer to the official opening of Southcote Community Hub, Coronation Square, Reading, RG30 3QP, at 11am on Tuesday 30th October.