STAR of The Apprentice Nick Hewer will officially open the new Community Centre at Christ Church tomorrow.
Nick, also of Countdown fame, will be joined by members of the Morris family, descendants of William Morris – the founder of the Swindon Advertiser in 1854.
The family will be in attendance to celebrate the re-siting of their family monument in the newly established garden of reflection.
A specially commissioned artwork by Laurie Plant, showing local Old Town scenes will also be unveiled during the morning.
Following the official ceremony, the centre will be open to the general public to look around until 3.30pm. There will be displays featuring many of the local groups and clubs currently using the building.
Project manager Stephen Grosvenor said: “The official opening of the centre is the culmination of just over 18 months work to replace the 45-year-old former leisure centre with a flexible, modern and sustainable resource for the local community.”
The work was made possible by a number of grants and donations from Swindon Council, The Hills Group through the Landfill Communities Fund, the Awards for All Lottery scheme, the Bernard Sunley Trust, as well as from many individual donations from local people and businesses.
The new centre is situated in the grounds of Christ Church and was designed by Antony Feltham King of St Ann’s Gate Architects in Salisbury.
It features a large hall which can be subdivided to create a garden room. It also has built in wi-fi, a well equipped kitchen, meeting room, disabled facilities and a storeroom. The church’s parish office has been relocated to the west end of the new building.
Mr Grosvenor said: “Access to the centre has been improved with a new road and pathways, and the area around it is being developed into a garden of reflection for the use of those visiting the church and the burial ground.
“The William Morris memorial was relocated from its original site in front of the new entrance to be a feature of the new garden, which was designed by Rachel Titcombe, a local designer, who won our competition back in July.”
Tomorrow evening, everyone is welcome to a family quiz event starting at 8pm – there will be snacks and a licenced bar available. Tickets are £2 per entry. Limited tickets are available so book in advance to avoid disappointment. You can do this online at www.christchurchswindon.co.uk