First look at new £2m community hub in Norwich
- Credit: YMCA Norfolk
A new community hub in Norwich is set to open later this year after a £2m project to transform a disused hall was completed earlier this month.
Charity YMCA Norfolk was given planning permission in 2019 to build the new facility on the site of Jubilee Hall in Aylsham Road, which was once used by war veterans and their families but had been closed for years.
The hub will house the charity's corporate offices as well as Williams' Kitchen, a café named after YMCA founder George Williams, the Explorers soft play area and Muddy Puddles, a 90-place children's nursery.
Chief executive Tim Sweeting and the YMCA board of trustees had originally planned for the nursery to open last month, but plans were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Construction of the building was completed earlier this month, and the charity is now in the process of fitting out the building and preparing for it to open in the spring.
Mr Sweeting said: "It has been great to work with Cocksedge Building Constructors, LSI Architects and Daniel Connal Partnership who have all done a fantastic job in converting the old British Legion building into a space that will serve the community of Norwich for many more decades to come."
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A spokesperson for YMCA added that the building would be fit with "purpose built and environmentally-friendly facilities which will bring the centre to life and create a warm and welcoming environment for people of all ages and all walks of life to use and enjoy".
The project has been in the works for several years and supporters include the Lind Trust, which bought Jubilee Hall in 2015, Norfolk County Council and other local funders.
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One of the first parts of the completely building to open will be Muddy Puddles, which is set to begin its work after Easter.
Nursery manager Beth Fox said she had been busy taking calls and bookings from interested parents, while the charity is currently recruiting for more staff to join the team ahead of its opening.
YMCA added that it was "highly grateful" for the public support it has received for this project.
Its public appeal remains open for those who wish to support the project's final stages. To donate, visit YMCA's JustGiving page.