Warwick residents to finally get new community centre after 20 year wait - The Leamington Observer

Warwick residents to finally get new community centre after 20 year wait

Leamington Editorial 3rd Oct, 2023 Updated: 4th Oct, 2023   0

A NEW community centre has finally been given the green light in Warwick – after two decades of waiting.

Warwick District Council has now backed a plan for a new community building on the Packmores estate over 20 years after the area was identified as needing support.

Local charity, The Gap, currently runs a small centre that helps people on the Packmores estate and surrounding area, helped by volunteers including residents from the Priory Area Committee (PAC).

But there is simply not enough space for the 1,000 homes it serves, especially as community need has grown as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.

PAC treasurer Mandy Burford explained: “Out of our small centre we are serving an area containing around 1,000 homes but barely has room for seven people to sit down. Despite this, a group of us are delivering services like our Packmores Pantry. With the cost of living crisis, there is an urgent need for a bigger space, and I am delighted the council has taken on this project.”

Town councillor and PAC chair, Simon Pargeter said had been a long time coming,

“This hub is needed by a community who have done so much on their own and don’t just sit there and wait for things to happen.

“This centre will support social and health needs as well as providing access to local services, reduce isolation and promote wellbeing.”

WDC has now signed off the start of a project and put aside £25,000 to carry out exploratory survey work.

The Gap, has been running the tiny community hub alongside residents and Warwick Lions volunteers, since 2015, after being awarded the contract by Warwick District Council. The charity has been one of the influential voices calling for a bigger space.

The Gap’s community development manager Lauren Sime said: “We’re over the moon the Council has made this decision. It’s been a great team effort to get to this part of the journey and there’s so many people we’d like to thank, but too many to mention, who helped make this happen.

“We’re excited the residents will be getting an investment in their future, which will go on to support further generations.”


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