Work at Chichester’s New Park Centre taking shape

Development taking shape at New Park, Chichester
Development taking shape at New Park, Chichester

Work to transform the New Park Community Centre is quickly taking shape, with the £1.7 million project on track to finish by August.

Project co-ordinator Rod Fennell, said it was an exciting time. “It’s what we have been talking about for over a decade and anyone who has been associated with project is more than happy to just see this changing daily before their eyes.

“All of us associated with various clubs and organisations at the centre can see now it’s got a future that will service the next generation as well as our own and we are very excited.”

Mr Fennell said work was five days behind because of the cold weather, but contractors were confident it would finish on time and on budget.

The transformation has included the demolition and replacement of the old single-storey building immediately to the north will feature a multi-use martial arts space (Dojo) with associated facilities, and the demolition the building known as the Hall Next Door.

Originally, the association was hoping to raise a further £400,000 for other works to take place to the main building but Mr Fennell said this had not been possible and a revised figure of £100,000 set.

This will be used to improve the bar area, which will open out to the new development. Mr Fennell said this would not only link the two developments but ensure that everybody who used the centre would benefit from the new building.

He said so far people had been very complementary about the building and that people liked the shape of it.

“Obviously we are very mindful of the fact it’s in a sensitive location next to the Jubilee Gardens which is such an attractive part of the city,” he said.

“We are doing our best as part and parcel of the works to not only provide what is an attractive new building but to make sure landscaping brings it up as well so it will have a really good impact when the building is completed.”

A series of fundraising events are being planned which will be announced soon, while the centre was also chosen as the mayoral charity of the year for 2011-2012 by Chichester’s mayor.