PREPARATIONS are under way for a £280,000 upgrade of a popular community centre in east Reading.
The project to renovate Sun Street Youth & Community Centre will result in additional community space and a more comprehensive range of Children’s Centre services delivered by Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC).
Regular users of the centre will be contacted over the next month to start planning for when the builders arrive in the autumn.
The Sun Street building incorporates a BFfC Children’s Centre and the extensive internal alterations will create rooms for health visiting and maternity services, a new office and extra children’s play areas.
The centre is also well used by the local community and the upgrade will create more space for hire.
Other improvements will include a new play garden, refurbished toilets, new storage areas, better heating and improved kitchen facilities.
Work to the centre’s car park will take place prior to the building work to enable a secure site compound for the contractor. Once the work is finished, the improved car park will include a new barrier and relining of the parking bays.
The work is not due to start until November, however, the level of internal alteration and improvement works involved will require the closure of the centre for the duration of the works, so officers are starting to plan ahead with user groups in the coming weeks. The project is due to be completed in May 2020.
Cllr Sophia James, Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods and Communities, said:
“The works at Sun Street are going to result in huge improvements to the centre with more community space and modern facilities.
“The works will require the closure of the centre for a number of months which is why we are starting to contact users of the centre now to make sure arrangements are in place for when construction gets under way.”
Cllr Liz Terry, Lead Councillor for Children’s Services, said:
“The improvement works at Sun Street Youth & Community Centre will allow a full range of Children’s Centre services to be offered to families.
“A new medical room will be created for health and maternity visits, there will be more indoor and outdoor play areas for children and visitors will experience a far more pleasant environment.”
The improvements at Sun Street Youth & Community Centre are part of the Council’s £2m Community Hubs programme which has included major refurbishments to the centres in South Reading and Southcote, as well as the Weller Centre, in Amersham Road, in partnership with the Earley Charity.
Work is already under way to transform Battle Library, in Oxford Road, into a multi-use community hub for west Reading. When the centre reopens in the late summer it will offer library services, children’s centre activities, adult learning and a new flexible community space.