MP Matt Western, residents and councillors have rallied together in support of a plan to build a new community centre on the site of a former GPs’ surgery in Warwick.
Warwick and Leamington MP Mr Western has pledged his support to the scheme which he says would provide a vital boost to the Packmores area.
The former Priory Medical Centre site in Cape Road became vacant last June prompting calls for it to be converted into a community centre.
It was first proposed by the management of the Packmores Community Centre, Warwickshire County Councillor John Holland and Warwick District Councillor Dave Skinner.
The centre’s current site in Lyttleton Road, Warwick, is far smaller than other community centres in the area which restricts the activities it can offer.
It has only two small rooms and fewer than ten people can fit inside at one time.
The Packmores Community Centre Secretary Amanda Burford has set up a petition to gather support for the proposals.
She said: “The Packmores area is in need of a boost after long being neglected by regional authorities.
“A new community centre would give a boost to the area’s young people, improve health outcomes and offer support to its many struggling residents.
“As a resident and someone who works with people in this community, I implore councillors to act in our best interests and back this very popular scheme – as they once promised.”
In 2019, Warwickshire County Council (WCC) identified the opening of a new centre serving the Packmores area as a top priority to run important community programmes and reduce health inequalities.
But the future use of the site has become less clear with the council now discussing the possibility it could eventually be used for housing.
The site’s future will be decided by the WCC’s cabinet on Thursday (October 13).
Mr Western said: “It is abundantly clear that Packmores – as one of the constituency’s more deprived areas – needs a community centre with more space and capability.
“Residents in the area tell me all the time that they feel under-served compared to other areas of the Warwick and Leamington.
“Councillors must back the project and not ride roughshod over the public’s needs and wishes.”
Coun John Holland added: “The county council first agreed to provide a community centre in 2005 but did not act on the decision and broke its promise to the community.
“It was no surprise to me that the council’s latest assessment of the area found, once more, that a community centre is desperately needed.
“It really is time that we got on with this project and got this centre up and running.”
To sign the petition visit https://www.change.org/p/priory-pools-gp-medical-centre-for-our-community-centre?recruiter=222585391&recruited_by_id=c63b8eb0-a92a-11e4-b89e c14911608818&utm_source=share_petition&utm_campaign=share_for_starters_page&utm_medium=copylink