A carnival themed celebration event marked the official completion of the regeneration of Broadlaw Walk in Fareham and opening of a new community centre.
The site, part of a £15 million regeneration project that started back in the 1990's, is now home to 83 new flats, five houses, six retail units and a community centre. It has been jointly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, First Wessex, and Fareham Borough Council.
Entertainment and activities for local residents were organised by First Wessex, Fareham Borough Council and SEHCO, which included balloon clowns, circus skills performers, a bouncy castle, party cakes and Milly Moos milk shakes.
Hazel Warwick, Deputy Chief Executive of First Wessex said: "First Wessex and Fareham Borough Council started looking at this site for regeneration over 15 years ago when the area became known for its anti-social behaviour and most of the shops were boarded up. The site today is unrecognisable and has been transformed, providing essential affordable housing and creating a centre that provides such an important space for the whole community.
"Throughout this whole process we have involved the community, during the consultation events, during the design of the mural that adorned the hoardings surrounding the construction site for over three years, during the naming process for Randal View and Lion Place and during the creation of the mosaic path that now runs through the development. SEHCO and community volunteers also ran the former, smaller community space for three years during the building programme, before moving to the new centre."
The Mayor of Fareham, Cllr Susan Bayford officially opened the community centre by cutting a ribbon during the celebrations. Councillor Bayford commented:
"I am delighted to officially open the Community Centre today. This centre is a place where people of all ages can come together to undertake a wide range of activities including leisure, entertainment and educational. I would like to offer many congratulations to everyone that has been involved in the development of this area. We should all be very proud of the Centre and I wish it every success over the coming years."
Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Cllr Seán Woodward said:
"The Council made the regeneration of Broadlaw Walk a high corporate priority a few years ago and I'm delighted to see that the scheme is now complete. Through strong partnership working with First Wessex the development has delivered much needed high standard sustainable homes, and also provided a real boost for local businesses. Where once there were boarded up shops we now have business owners telling us they've seen a notable increase in trade. It's clear there's now a strong sense of community at Broadlaw Walk. Today's official opening of the community centre, already a focal point for residents, marks the last phase in the area's revival, which I'm sure will continue to thrive."
The community centre is managed and staffed by SEHCO, a charity run by First Wessex residents and Community Development Worker, Maria Ganderton, supports the volunteer group to arrange activities and enterprises for benefit of the local community.
The whole scheme has achieved level 3 code for sustainable homes thanks to its steel frame and concrete slab supporting a timber frame construction, in addition, to the installation of communal hot water and heating system fed by a state of the art combined heat and power boiler.
The event included stakeholders from First Wessex, Fareham Borough Council, Homes and Communities Agency, Boulter Mossman, Kenn Scaddan Architects and SEHCO.
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This and previous media releases can be viewed on the Council's website: www.fareham.gov.uk/pressreleases
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