A popular community hub in West Sussex has a bright new future ahead.
Local charity Age UK West Sussex, Brighton and Hove (WSBH) is taking over the running of Eastbrook Manor Community Centre.
Adur District Council has partnered with the older person's charity to offer services and facilities for people of all ages at the centre, which will open once lockdown restrictions ease.
Age UK WSBH is taking on the running of the council-owned building in Fishersgate and will be running its own services there, providing space for other groups to do the same, and bringing different generations together for activities, fitness, fun and friendship.
Small refurbishment works will take place inside the centre. The council and charity will also work together to bring the space holding the former outdoor skating rink back into use. Discussions on how to use the area are ongoing.
Age UK WSBH will work closely with the council and other groups to widen the offer for the local area, as well as residents and volunteers, to ensure the site is of great community value.
Councillor Kevin Boram, Adur's Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:
“We have always wanted Eastbrook Manor Community Centre to remain an asset for the community, run by the community, so it's absolutely fantastic we have partnered with Age UK, who will not only run their own charity activities from the centre but will enable many other local groups to use the fantastic facilities there.
“Once lockdown restrictions ease it's important for people to be able to use the centre to get some food, a hot or cold drink, and use the toilet facilities - especially when visiting the park nearby where there are no public toilets.
“The charity will be providing space for different local intergenerational groups to access the centre which could be used as a play space for parents and children, for fitness, for charity work and much more.”
At the moment the charity is using the centre as a base, as they will be distributing cooked meals to over 50s across Adur and Worthing during lockdown.
Helen Rice, Chief Executive at Age UK WSBH, said:
“Although we work primarily with older people, the idea with Eastbrook Manor is to create a hub at the heart of the community, with something for everyone.
“We can't have a grand opening right now sadly, but we'll be using the centre to help us distribute meals to over 50s locally during lockdown. In due course it will be a permanent base for us and once Covid restrictions are relaxed, we want to see the centre thriving, bringing the generations together for activities, fitness, fun and friendship.”