Caption: From the left, Jeni Brierley (Centre Manager), Rev Rob Budd, Ian Hardwick (L&Q Estates), Cllr Jacqui Grey (Warwick District Council) and Ian Millard (Counties Region at L&Q)

Plans are well underway to commence work on a £360,000 project to refurbish a popular community centre in Warwick and provide even more activities for residents.

Warwick Gates Community Centre in Cressida Close, Heathcote, has received planning permission from Warwick District Council to go ahead with the scheme which will create a multi-purpose meeting room along with a new kitchen and toilets.

L&Q, one of the UK’s leading housing associations and residential developers, and L&Q Estates, its strategic land business, have both donated nearly £16,000 towards the improvements.

A number of other grants have also been secured towards this initiative.

Changing rooms which are no longer used are to be transformed and interior walls are to be removed to create a space for up to 30 people, and it is hoped the work will be completed by the end of the year.

The Rev Rob Budd from Heathcote Parish Church said the changes would mean even more activities for the entire community would be able to be run from the Community Centre.

“We wanted to reconfigure the existing Community Centre to have a multi-purpose meeting room to hold more groups and clubs as well as run classes simultaneously to benefit more residents in a growing community,” he said.

“We’re doubling the capacity from the current community space which is really important since we want to contribute towards physical fitness, mental health and social isolation across the community and we’re trying to meet these needs.

“Existing groups range from toddler football and Pilates to the Brownies and a drop-in café, and we want to expand to offer more services to cover every stage of life.”

He added: “We’re grateful for the support of L&Q Estates and L&Q for their contributions for this community project.

“It demonstrates that not only do they help to build houses in the area but also build communities, and they are working in partnership with us as we develop community services that we can offer in the area.”

Ian Hardwick, Managing Director of L&Q Estates, whose HQ is in Heathcote, said: “Warwick Gates Community Centre is a really important focal point for people living in Heathcote and we pride ourselves on becoming part of the communities we are helping to create.

“It is already a thriving Centre with the wide range of activities that are on offer and there is no doubt even more residents will benefit once the work is completed.”

Ian Millard, Operations Director, Counties Region at L&Q, said: “We’ve been working to introduce our offer to Warwickshire in recent years, with new homes coming forward at Beauchamp Park, a new 450 home community in Warwick – and Birnam Mews and L&Q at Consilio near Stratford-upon-Avon.

“As a charitable housing association, our social purpose goes beyond just building homes. We were delighted to be able to support the Warwick Gates Community Centre to improve its facilities. We manage our neighbourhoods for the long term and hope to continue our relationship with the community centre whilst getting to know residents living in the area.”

Warwick District Councillor Jacqui Grey (Myton & Heathcote Ward) added: “The Warwick Gates Community Centre continues to provide a vitally important service and meeting point in this area. We are therefore pleased that the Council has been able to give significant grant funding for this project, which will ensure that the services and space provided here can meet the needs of the growing local community for many years to come.”