A MAJOR boost to community services in East Worthing will be realised if a local church succeeds in its ambitious, multi-use plan for a disused warehouse.
The Jubilee Community Church has, with partners, bought a large warehouse in Dominion Way, Worthing, and plans to convert it into a community centre and place of worship.
Change-of-use planning permission is now being sought from Worthing Borough Council for the conversion, which church leader Colin Nichols said would probably cost around £300,000.
This would be in addition to the £1.3million mortgage which the church has already taken out to fund its 50 per cent ownership of the building, which marks the end of a three-year search for suitable, affordable premises.
A planning and design statement to Worthing Council says a fundamental purpose of the planning application “is to extend existing community facilities for disadvantaged people in the East Worthing area”.
The report says: “A major focus will be to build on existing activities, in partnership with Mick’s Garage, a local outreach centre for children in the age range seven-to-18 years.
“There is a need in Broadwater ward for more projects and facilities for younger people in their teenage years.”
When fully up-and-running, the centre will include a café open to all on a daily basis, providing not only a small food service in the middle of the day, but also a general meeting place and an “entrance” to other activities.
At present, the church holds its Sunday services at Worthing High School.
It is planned to switch these services to the warehouse, once the project is up and running by the hoped-for completion date of next summer.
Fifty per cent of the 18,000sq ft warehouse will be used by the church for its activities, including an admin section with five full-time staff, and seven part-timers, for the church’s community services.
The remaining space will be rented out to other organisations.
Referring to the proposed change of use, the planning and design statement says: “The benefits would outweigh any potential disadvantages arising from loss of industrial/warehousing space.”
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