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Temporary community centre for Northstowe to open its doors next week

A temporary community centre for Northstowe featuring artwork created by the community will officially open on Monday.

Contractors have been working to fit out the modular building since it was moved into position next to The Green on Pathfinder Way in April.

Northstowe temporary community centre Picture: South Cambridgeshire District Council
Northstowe temporary community centre Picture: South Cambridgeshire District Council

The building is located alongside the area earmarked for the town’s permanent community centre.

The single-storey building includes a lobby with kitchenette and toilets, storage, and contains space for three offices, an NHS room, and two large community rooms.

Cllr Tom Bygott (Con, Longstanton) said: “It’s great to see the new temporary community centre for Northstowe so close to being up and running. I hope it will be well-used by the community.

“It is a dedicated space for local people, and I would urge the many excellent community groups in and around Northstowe to make full use of the new building.”

Cllr Natalie Warren-Green (Lib Dem, Longstanton) added: “This being open is a positive step in the development of Northstowe. I look forward to seeing the café open, the large spaces inside being used by active community groups, the communities team working from a designated office here, and an NHS room being available.

“This is a very useful test facility for how the space is used and to gather feedback as the permanent community facility is built.”

The Northstowe Arts group worked with residents to design artwork inspired by nature in the new town.

Many residents submitted photos of nature in Northstowe for inspiration, and others joined a workshop organised by Northstowe Arts led by artist Syrah-Jade Arnold.

Graphic designer Jeremy Kay then pulled the artwork together to create a wrap which has been placed around much of the exterior of the building.

To help mark the building’s opening, a community open day is being planned for later this year.

Cllr Bill Handley (Lib Dem, Over and Willingham), lead cabinet member for communities at South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “In the past year, we’ve confirmed our plans to invest nearly £15 million to help fund – and bring forward – community facilities in Northstowe.

“It’s fantastic to see the first of these opening now, with the sports pavilion to follow soon too.

“This will be a new hub of community life in Northstowe whilst we progress our exciting plans for the permanent community centre, and I encourage Northstowe residents to make use of it and enjoy what it has to offer.”

Northstowe temporary community centre Picture: South Cambridgeshire District Council
Northstowe temporary community centre Picture: South Cambridgeshire District Council

The council has permission for the temporary community centre to be in-place for three years. The authority is responsible for building the permanent community centre, which is expected to be completed in winter 2025/26, as well as the sports pavilion.

The new facilities were due to be funded through money provided by developers, but this is no longer enough to cover the full costs.

Work on the sports pavilion is under way and is expected to be completed in September.

The council is talking to Northstowe residents about what the permanent community centre, and wider area, might look like.

It aims to submit a planning application soon, with construction expected to begin next year if approval is granted. The permanent community centre will be significantly larger than the temporary building.

Once completed, Northstowe will have around 10,000 homes and have a population of around 25,000.

Anyone who wishes to book the temporary community centre for a group or event can complete a booking form at www.scambs.gov.uk/northstowe.

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