Refurbished community centre set for official re-opening

Community café opens at Larkfield Centre, Ely. Cafe manager Sami Yusuf.

Community café opens at Larkfield Centre, Ely. Cafe manager Sami Yusuf. - Credit: Archant

A scheme to create a new community centre in Ely reaches its climax with an official opening ceremony later this month.

The new Ely Community Centre has been created from the former Larkfields Centre, in High Barns.

The building has been divided into two, with one half housing the community centre and the other providing space for day services.

It will be officially opened on Monday at 12.30pm by the chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council, Councillor Sebastian Kindersley.

The scheme includes potential for the community centre to offer work-related opportunities in the future for people with disabilities.

Included within the facilities are meeting rooms, smaller supervision areas, training rooms and space for community events.

Cambridgeshire County Council, which owns the building, contributed £800,000 towards its redevelopment, with support from Sanctuary Housing.

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Graham Nolan, Sanctuary Housing’s head of neighbourhood partnerships, said: “We’re really proud to be supporting the opening of the centre. It’s a valuable asset on the doorstep of the local community and provides a fantastic opportunity for residents to get together for a range of activities and training opportunities.”

One of the newest initiatives in the hall is a nightclub for disabled people, together with a community café, which will give people with a learning disability the opportunity to develop work-based skills alongside a venue for the local community to use.

Community groups who already use the centre on a regular basis include the charity Little Miracles, chair-based exercises from Poss+ability for stroke and other wheelchair bound people, the Scouts, a spiritualist church, Slimming World, the Ely Samba Band and martial arts classes.