IT was a day to cherish on Wednesday, December 5 at the renovated New Park Centre in Chichester.
The first phase of the reconstructed site was officially unveiled by former mayor Tony French, who called the first public meeting of the New Park Road Community Association in 1974.
“For the phase of redevelopment which we are opening today a quite gigantic effort was required, and to those individuals and organisations, I would like to pay special tribute and thanks,” said Mr French.
He said the day was “one of great importance for Chichester and the area around it - a day we should cherish and be proud of.”
He added: “It is a huge privilege to be asked to formally open this first phase of the reconstruction of the New Park Centre - bringing it into the 21st century.”
More than 60 clubs use the venue today, and particular mention was made of two who have been there since the beginning: Chichester Players and Chichester Ronin Judo Club.
The reconstruction cost £1.8m and received around £1m from the district council.
The redevelopment has been planned for the past eight years, and the design was finalised 18 months ago.
Also present was the association’s first chairman George Appleby who said of the centre: “It’s been such a brilliant thing for Chichester.”