St Denys Community Centre: revamp

The St Denys Community Centre is due to re-open in May, following a Ł1.2 million refurbishment.

The Centre, opposite the Junction pub in Priory Road, closed its doors last February; among the improvements will be a new outdoor multi-sports area complete with floodlights and changing rooms, which can accommodate five-a-side football, tennis, basketball and mini-cricket. The Centre hopes to organise regular taster sessions in these sports with qualified coaches, and will be offering sports for disabled users: the idea is to create an accessible resource for all the community.

Committee member Martin Gentry is keen to stress that the Centre will only be successful if local people are prepared to help, perhaps by coming forward to run activities — from sports and arts to bingo or coffee mornings. He’d also welcome new faces onto the management committee to help out with the running of the Centre.

The Centre has to pay its way, and there will be a variety of rooms available to hire for private functions; it will be just the place children’s football parties and other similar events. The main hall will have capacity for 80 people, and a new commercial-standard kitchen will increase the appeal for hires.

A soundproofed room, suitable for music or band use, is also likely to prove popular, and the plan is to offer computer training, as well as information events for the community.

Funding for the rebuilding work has come from Sport England, and Southampton City Day Services Department, which will be based at the Centre. There are also hopes that a youth worker will work from the Centre.

If you’re interested in finding out more, or perhaps lending a hand, contact Martin at the Junction Inn, Priory Road, or phone 023 8058 4486.

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