Community hub is set for next summer

The countryside surrounding Harting Down in the South Downs National Park, in West Sussex.

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THE new Somers Town Community Hub is on track to be completed by next summer.

Project manager Nick Butler, who is managing the development for the BAM construction firm, said it was a ‘challenging’ development, mainly because it spans the busy Winston Churchill Avenue dual carriageway and is being built next to so many high-rise flats.

Somerstown Hub

Somerstown Hub

The Swiss timber ribcage of the new community hub has been installed, and the partition walls are the next things due to be built inside the structure.

The hub will rejoin north and south Somers Town, which was split in two when the dual-carriageway was built.

Residents will be able to walk through the building’s first floor to cross the road, and it will include a doctors’ surgery, youth club, sports hall, business spaces, housing office and a glass-fronted cafe where customers can watch the cars pass underneath.

Mr Butler said: ‘It has been a challenging building, and continues to be.

‘Building over a main A-road is not something that happens very often.

‘It took a minimum of three months negotiating with the council and other agencies about the road closures and the installation of the 18 concrete beams that span the road.

‘We’ll have another couple of weekend closures when we take the scaffolding down as it’s so complicated.’

The development will cost around £11m, and follows on from the firm’s £20m redevelopment of St Mary’s Community Health Campus in Fratton, as well as the new £7.54m Havant Academy and the £16.2m Park Community School, also in Havant.

‘There’s a lot that’s been happening here,’ Nick added.