THE regeneration of a community centre could have a huge knock-on effect for an estate, says a community trust.
Local residents and community groups have joined forces with politicians and doctors to explore an exciting new regeneration project for Leigh Park.
The plans are still in the very early stages but would see the run-down Leigh Park Community Centre, in Dunsbury Way, demolished and replaced with a purpose-built centre which will also house Staunton Medical Practice, Sure Start, the Citizens Advice Bureau, a community cafe, and a pharmacy.
A community trust has been set up to oversee the project and has been awarded a government grant of £9,000 to look at how the community centre could be improved and new facilities brought to the heart of the estate.
At the moment, Staunton Medical Practice is in Havant Health Centre, off Petersfield Road.
But the majority of patients are from Leigh Park and doctors want to take the surgery into the estate.
Susie Miller is a Staunton practice manager and a member of the trust.
She said: ‘The community centre is still a working building but it was built in the 1960s and is now very run down.
‘We want to be further into Leigh Park so patients have us on their doorstep.
‘It will be a one-stop shop for health and wellbeing. It will have a knock-on effect for the whole area, bringing footfall to the shopping centre too.
‘It will bring the heart back into the community.’
Councillor Mike Fairhurst represents Leigh Park on Havant Borough Council.
He said: ‘There are a number of obstacles and hurdles to overcome and this will take time, but Havant Borough Council is committed to working with Leigh Park residents and our other partners to drive this wonderful opportunity forward.’
The Rev Jonathan Jeffery of St Francis Church, Riders Lane, is also part of the trust.
He said: ‘We have come together because we think this could be a fantastic project for the area.
‘We are looking forward to establishing the new community trust as quickly as possible to lead the work going forward.’