19 March 2019 - Basildon Council and its partners have met on site in Nevendon Recreation Ground ahead of the start of works to build a brand new Wickford Community Centre.

Photo showing Basildon councillors and partners meeting on site in Nevendon Recreation Ground ahead of the start of works to build a brand new Wickford Community CentreThe centre is being relocated from Market Road to the recreation ground in Nevendon Road.

Councillor Tony Hedley, Chairman of the Regeneration Committee, met with members of the community association and One Step Ahead pre-school on site on Tuesday 19 March.

The project also includes the demolition of the One Step Ahead pre-school which will be relocated into the new community centre.

Cllr Hedley said: "This is a positive step forward for an exciting project that will bring great community benefit.

"The existing centre is no longer fit for purpose and we are committed to working in partnership with the community association to ensure we give them a facility that will enable a greater range of activities.

"This will also unlock much needed redevelopment on the site of the old centre and form part of the wider regeneration of Wickford."

Doug Benjafield, Chair of the Veolia Pitsea Marshes Maintenance Trust, said:

"Trustees were happy to support this project as it was clear that it would have a long and lasting benefit to the community of Wickford in particular the younger generation.

Community facilities are an important aspect of town life and as such a new facility which can be used for a variety of activities will be a valuable community asset both now and in the future."

Paul Heard, Chairman of Wickford Community Association, added: "The Wickford Community Association Executive & Management Committees are pleased with the plans for the new community centre and look forward to its completion.  The new centre will continue to offer its existing facilities as well as host the ever expanding range of public events and activities for the benefit of the residents of both Wickford and surrounding areas.

"The success of our community centre is attributable to its staff and volunteers as well as community involvement. I hope the new centre will continue to provide leisure, educational and social activities for everyone for many years to come."

Enviro Building Solutions will begin work on site next month. The project is expected to be complete by the end of August this year.

The relocation of the Community Centre enables London and Cambridge Properties (LCP) to bring forward a development in Wickford Town Centre. As part of the development, the library is proposed to be moved to a disused retail unit within the Willowdale Shopping Centre subject to planning permission.