A DEVELOPER has been chosen for the creation of a multi-million pound community hub in Portsmouth.
BAM Design is the architect behind the £12m building in Somers Town, which is being constructed by BAM Construction on behalf of the city council.
Work on the two-storey building began in September and it will include a community centre, youth centre, primary care trust, dental surgery and a local housing office.
The community centre will have a sports hall and a lounge and the local housing office will have a mezzanine floor gallery.
Existing mature trees were kept to create external piazza spaces at either end of the building.
BAM construction director Bob Sanders said: ‘We are very pleased to be bringing these innovative designs to life as a state-of-the-art facility for the community.
‘We look forward to using our capabilities to deliver this challenging project in a way that minimises disruption for neighbours.’
As previously reported in The News, doubts had been raised early in the year about the future of the scheme because of delays in signing a crucial contract with the NHS.
But the council announced at the end of April an agreement with the health authority had finally been reached, despite the contract remaining unsigned.
Councillor Les Stevens, who represents Somers Town, said he was pleased progress was being made.
‘This is brilliant news.
‘It’s been a long time in the making.
‘There will be so much on offer for the residents. It’s going to be a massive bonus for them and it’s right on their doorstep.’
Kevin Hudson, project manager for the council, said: ‘We are delighted to be working with BAM on this project. These community facilities, at the heart of Portsmouth, will make a real difference to the lives of local people.
‘It was important to residents that the design should be iconic and that the facilities that the community needs should be brought together into a building that made the best possible use of space, which is at a premium in Somers Town.’
Work is due to be completed in March 2014.