A NEW multimillion pound community centre has opened, to the delight of the community.

The Nevendon Centre, off Nevendon Road, Wickford is being officially launched by Basildon Council next week but is already serving the community.

The centre cost £2,302,000 to build, with funding of £875,000 coming from the Veolia Pitsea Marshes Maintenance Trust.

The building programme took six months due to its modular construction. It provides more than 1,000 square metres of community space which will accommodate a preschool, with parking spaces for cars and bikes.

Residents are pleased to see the new centre open to the public.

Beryl Victor, 69, of Wickford said: “I am looking forward to joining clubs for senior citizens at the centre.

“I think it looks very good and is so smart.

“It’s been a long time coming but I think it is good news for the town.

“I think it’ll be well used in Wickford.

“My only small criticism would be that it’s not very visible from the road and there’s little or no signage.”

Chairman of the Neighbourhoods and Public Spaces Committee, councillor David Harrison said: “This is great news for Wickford and I am pleased we have been able to work with partners to bring the Nevendon Centre to the to Nevendon Recreation Ground.

“It’s a new home for the Community Association, and the One Step Ahead Pre-school.

“The previous site was no longer fit for purpose but this centre will allow a greater range of activities and it is a welcome addition to the park – a facility that Wickford deserves”.

Chairman of the Wickford Community Association Paul Heard added: “It has been a pleasure to be involved with the new Nevendon Centre from start to finish. Also, since opening it has been great to get positive feedback from existing members about the new centre as well as get enquiries from new potential members regarding joining the centre.”