Portchester association to officially open at new home

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A COMMUNITY group will be officially opening its new home this weekend.

Portchester Community Association (PCA) has set up base in West Street, Portchester, after losing out on the chance to run the village’s new community centre.

Portchester Community School won the right to run the new recently opened centre built next door to the old PCA-run centre, which is now being demolished, at Westlands Grove.

But the PCA still has several associated groups, including the Andy Pandy Pre-School, tea dances, new-age kurling and a computer club. It also continues to have responsibility for the Portchester Gala.

Mik Norman, a volunteer at the hub, said: ‘Since we unofficially opened about two weeks ago, it’s been very good.

‘There’s been a huge flow of people coming through. There’s been a lot of positive comments that we’re continuing to run and providing a service.’

Books, CDs and DVDs are being sold at the hub to help fund the PCA’s work.

‘We have a licence as a shop which is why we have to sell something,’ Mr Norman added. ‘We won’t be selling food or drink as we’re not licensed for that, so we’re not going to be in competition with the cafes.

‘The staff have talked to local traders and explained exactly what we’re doing, and they’ve been quite positive as the association has been very supportive of them in the past.’

Teresa Hatcher, owner of TK Cafe, said: ‘Having them here could enhance the area. It will bring more people into the precinct, and people could come next door to us afterwards if they want to grab a bite of something.’

The PCA would also like to thank Novatech, which is sponsoring the hub’s internet cafe.

The hub will be opened tomorrow by Portchester county councillor Roger Price at 10.30am.