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Roger Morris Centre re-opens after £280,000 revamp
RESIDENTS in a Basingstoke suburb are celebrating after the official opening of the new-look Roger Morris Centre.
The community centre, in Eastrop, has had a £280,000 makeover, and now has a new entrance and reception area, additional rooms and more storage areas.
The revamp, which was funded by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council through developer contributions, has been in the pipeline for several years.
Mark Norris, chairman of Eastrop Community Association, said residents are thrilled the new-look centre is finally open.
He said: “Works began in around March but it has been something we have been talking about for a long time.
“We’re delighted with it. Storage was a real issue before and the extra rooms will be used by all sorts of different groups. We now have a great open space here.”
The new-look centre was officially re-opened by Susan Morris on Saturday, October 5. Her late husband, former Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane Councillor Roger Morris, played a role in establishing the centre in 1998, and it was renamed after him in his honour following his death in 2004.
Speaking at the opening, Mrs Morris said: “Roger was very fond of Eastrop and Riverdene – he was quite passionate about it.
“He opened this centre in 1998 when it was first built and I had the great pleasure of re-opening it in 2004. Now I have the great pleasure of re-opening it once more.”
Borough councillor Gavin James, who represents Eastrop, also spoke at the opening ceremony, urging the residents of Eastrop to support the centre by making full use of it.
He said: “It is a centre to be proud of and a centre that relies on the community to keep it going. The more people who use the centre, the easier it is to keep it running.”
Representatives from various community groups including the YMCA and community safety patrol officers from Hampshire County Council were at the event, and children were also able to enjoy face-painting, a smoothie-making workshop and other activities.
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