Construction work is now well underway on the first of Wolverhampton's community hubs, which will bring a range of services together under one roof.

Contractors started work on the new Ashmore Park Community Hub in August, while work began on the Pendeford and Long Knowle hubs last month - and more are due to get underway shortly.

The bespoke centres will offer library and information services, community facilities and youth services. They are being developed in phases across the city, with the first due to open their doors next year.

At Ashmore Park, a glass and steel extension is being built to house the local library and link together the existing youth club and sports hall - both of which are also being refurbished to create flexible facilities that can be used by the whole community.

Ashmore Park Library and Ashmore Park Community Centre, which are on the same road, will relocate to the new facility, due to open for the first time next year.

The new hub will also feature a new community gym including showers and changing facilities, 6 multi purpose meeting rooms, lounge, kitchen and IT facilities, as well as additional parking.

Work on the new Pendeford Community Hub, which will offer library and information services, a community centre and youth services, began at the end of September, 2013.

The hub will be based in a remodelled building on Whitburn Close which previously hosted the library and community centre and work is expected to take between 6 and 7 months to complete, during which time the building will be unavailable to the public.

Work to modernise the existing library and community centre on Wood End Road, Long Knowle, also started last month, and will see extensive renovations carried out to create an open plan layout and new entrances.

There will also be repairs to the flooring, roof and ceiling, the installation of a new kitchen and the replacement of the building's ageing heating system as well as redecoration work. The work is expected to take up to 5 months.

Work is due to get underway on developing the new Wednesfield Community Hub in early November. It is being developed at the present library and community centre on Well Lane, and will offer improved facilities for all the community, with a larger community hall, a new café area, improvements to the children's library and the relocation of the main entrance to enable better access to the facilities.

People can find out more about the work at Wednesfield at an information day which is being held at the library on Monday 28 October, 2013, from 9am to 4pm.

Meanwhile, tenders for work to create a hub at Low Hill are due to go out next month while a planning application for the scheme has now been submitted.

In addition, there are plans to create 3 larger community service hubs offering a wider range of services including community facilities, information and library services, neighbourhood services, youth activities, adult education, health services and social care and family support services. These are expected to be located in Warstones, Bilston and the Heath Town area.

Running alongside the community hubs programme, the relocation of Collingwood Library has taken place, with the new self service facility based at Broadway Gardens in Bushbury due to open in the next few weeks.

The new hubs will join the existing hub at Blakenhall Community and Healthy Living Centre, a multi purpose centre offering library and information services, health and wellbeing services, sporting activities, education opportunities and café, which opened in 2010.

Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said: "The community hubs are being developed in an attempt to protect library, community and youth services in the face of swingeing Government cuts.

"Many councils have had to take a difficult course of action and close their libraries, but by developing these hubs we have been able to keep all 15 of our libraries open - and we hope the developments will give them a new lease of life.

"I am pleased at the progress we are making on the first of these new facilities, and the way that members of the community have come together to help us shape their new services.

"Members of the community have played a key role in helping to shape their new services and it's good that in many cases they can now see for themselves that their new facilities are physically on their way.

"We've already seen from the development of Blakenhall Community and Healthy Living Centre that bringing together a wide range ofservices under one roof can really work and create a facility that is well used by the whole community, and we're confident that we can repeat this success for our residents across the city."

  • released: Monday 21 October, 2013