COMMUNITY groups are rejoicing after the new Durrington community centre has opened its doors to the public.
The long-awaited opening has come after months of the £1.5million development sitting empty while solicitors battled out the legal work required to open the centre.
The new build in New Road was part of Tesco’s planning application to build the superstore, as the old community centre is due to be demolished to make room for more customer parking. The new centre features a new hall and more space for community groups to hold meetings and run events – something which will be welcomed by the 62 community groups and 1,500 people who use the facilities every week.
Centre manager Jackie Tettersell, 54, from Findon Valley, said she is thrilled they have been given permission to move in.
“At the moment it’s all a bit chaotic because we’re still moving everything over from the old centre,” she said. “But we have a long waiting list of groups who wish to come and use our facilities so it will be great to finally tell them that they can come along.”
She added: “I’m ecstatic and relieved that everything has finally come together. Now, we’re looking forward to having bigger and better things here in Durrington.”
Chairman of the High Salvington Bridge Club, Alan Ireland, said the centre was a tribute to the hard work the staff put into the centre.
“It is a fabulous new building,” he said. “Very light and airy, lots of room. As soon as everyone is properly settled in, the centre will be a wonderful establishment in the community.”
He added: “The bridge club are also now able to take on new members, because we have more space. We have a long waiting list of people wanting to join so I’m sure they will be delighted.”
Celebrating the opening of the new hall, Goring Retirement Club is holding a charity dance on Saturday, November 26, from 7pm until 10pm. The ballroom and sequence dancing event will feature a raffle, refreshments and a prize for the best-dressed lady. Tickets are £3.