Hope for community centre six months on from council takeover

Representatives from Adur & Worthing councils met with members of the community to discuss the future of the centre

Representatives from Adur & Worthing councils met with members of the community to discuss the future of the centre

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The future looks bright for Fishersgate Community Centre, six months after serious concerns caused Adur District Council to temporarily take it over.

Plans for the Portslade centre were agreed by representatives from Adur and Worthing councils and members of the community at the first meeting since the council took control of the centre.

“We had new people at the meeting which was great”, said Adur councillor David Simmons.

“What we have got now is a clean slate and we are starting again from the beginning.”

The intention is for the centre to open a couple of days a week from late August or early September, once renovations are complete.

Eventually the community space may be rented out for meetings to help fund the staffing and upkeep of the building, and Mr Simmons hopes there will also be a community café.

Mr Simmons stressed the importance of the community to the project, and pledged they would be highly involved in the future of the centre.

“The centre was returned to Adur Council and in return we want to hand it back to the community.

“It is fundamentally a community asset and it is important that the community themselves have a part to play in this.

“We have got high hopes for the future.”

Angela Tanner, interim head of wellbeing for Adur and Worthing councils, said:

“There is still a way to go with completing a renovations programme to bring the centre up to spec and finding the key people to work at the centre.

“There is a shared vision of delivering a vibrant and sustainable community centre and reopening fully when everything is in place”, she added.

Toni Obee, chair of the Friends of Fishersgate Rec group, which raises money for the refurbishment of Fishersgate recreation ground, attended the meeting on July 27:

“It was a very positive meeting and there was a feeling of excitement at the future of Fishersgate community centre.”

“Things are continuing to change for Fishersgate and there are exciting times ahead”, she added.