Amersham Road Community Centre Re-opens Following £600,000 Refurb

BASKETBALL sessions, live Samba music and prize bingo are among the activities being held to celebrate the opening of a newly renovated community centre in Caversham.

The Weller Centre will be officially re-opened on Saturday 9th September after a £600,000 extension and refurbishment.

The venue, formerly known as Amersham Road Youth and Community Centre, closed for the works to be carried out in March and will now be operated by Earley Charity, which funded the project, and Catalyst Housing.

Mayor of Reading Cllr Rose Williams will be part of the official opening ceremony at 11am on 9th September followed by a programme of fun activities through to 3pm.

Reading Rockets will be holding basketball sessions outside where there will also be Food 4Families and conservation volunteers providing activities.

Dancing, yoga, belly dancing, over 60s exercise class and martial arts will be held in the hall. In the rest of the building there will be prize bingo, Readipop playing live Samba, face painting, hair braiding and refreshments served in the café.

Deborah Jenkins, Chair of the Earley Charity’s Community Development Committee, said:

“Step by step many people have worked hard to achieve the re-launching of this community hub.

“The Earley Charity is strongly committed to working with local residents and community partners to make this project the resounding success it deserves to be.”

Cllr Liz Terry, Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods, said:

“I am delighted to see the Weller Centre open and offering a good quality venue for the residents of Lower Caversham.

“It is a fabulous space and I am sure it will be well used by local people for a wide range of activities.”

Reading Borough Council worked closely with the Earley Charity and the local community to find a way of upgrading the community centre and committed £75,000 to the project. The Earley Charity’s £540,000 investment allowed for a new façade, a new reception area, meeting space and a café.

The charity has also committed to funding a centre manager for the period of its 30-year lease and providing an annual community fund to support local initiatives. The Council will also make a contribution as a user of the centre.

A Community Centre Management Group will include representatives from the Council, the Earley Charity and Catalyst Housing Association and will report to a wider Advisory Board containing councillors and members of the community.

The new name of the centre was chosen by the community and is in honour of local postman Martin Weller who died earlier this year. Mr Weller was an active volunteer with Caversham Children’s Fund and enjoyed appearing as a DJ at local bars and family discos at the centre.

Notes to Editors

Photo Opportunity: Members of the media are invited to send photographers/reporters to the official opening of The Weller Centre, 110 Amersham Road, Caversham at 11.15am on Saturday 9th September.

Press Office contact: David Millward. 0118 937 4289. david.millward@reading.gov.uk