The Wokingham Paper

£3 million investment in new community centre for residents across Shinfield

(From left) At the table: Mike Wilde, operations director at Life Build Solutions, Cllr Andrew Grimes, chair of Shinfield Parish Council both sign the contract. Behind: Tom Coward, director of AOC Architecture, Mike O'Hanlon, MEA project manager, Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure at WBC, Mark Redfearn, WBC officer, Mike Balbini, Shinfield Parish clerk, and Cllr Dawn Peer, for Spencers Wood South. Picture: Jess Warren

SHINFIELD residents will soon see a £3 million investment in their neighbourhood, with a new community centre.

Earlier this morning, the chair of Shinfield Parish Council signed the contract to build a large, modern centre, expanding from the current site.

With financial help from the University of Reading, the parish and borough councils bought the British Legion next door. This will now be demolished, with the new centre built over both sites.

Parish council chair, Andrew Grimes told Wokingham.Today: “The project is funded by Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) money from developer contributions.

“This centre is the first payback residents have for all the development in Shinfield.”

The plan has been five years in the making, but should be completed by August next year.

The new centre will host multiple meeting halls and club rooms, as well as a library, cafe and a children’s centre.

“It’s taken a long time, but we’re pleased to now be building this,” added Cllr Grimes. “It’s good to drive money into the community facility, and it’ll be the best utilisation of School Green.”

Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure services at the borough council, said “The new community centre was conceived some five years ago and today is a historic moment, as the contract was signed to commence building in three weeks’ time.

“The project reflects the strong collaboration between Wokingham Borough Council and Shinfield Parish Council to provide an excellent community centre for the residents of Shinfield North and South to enjoy.”

Once built, the centre will be a community resource for residents across Spencers Wood, Three Mile Cross, Grazeley and Shinfield.

And next week, Shinfield Parish Council intends to vote to approve a £650,000 investment in the Spencers Wood pavilion.

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