London & South East

Project puts new heart into local community

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Fulham CentralA £4.5 million project is to offer a wealth of opportunity for residents on a troubled housing estate in Fulham, London.

The Fulham Central Children’s and Community Centre includes a 20-place children’s centre, with a crèche, large and small community halls, a meeting room, a kitchen, storage areas and toilets.

The two-storey building, in Shottendane Road, has been designed by Living Architects and is being built by Lengard Ltd on behalf of Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

Living Architects’ Marian Biernat said the building will meet high eco-friendly standards, with the roof incorporating solar panels and a sedum roofing section.

The centre will replace an ageing temporary building with a ground floor children’s centre for under-fives and a first floor community centre for dance sessions, youth clubs, events, meetings and games.

It will be open to all residents and is expected to be completed in the summer.

There is also an external play area, soft landscaping and a small car park, and cycle storage space.

Mr Biernat said: “The contractors have done a very good job and everybody is happy. The new build has provoked a lot of positive comment from within the community. Regular meetings have been held with residents to keep them updated with the development as it unfolds.

“We hope it will make a difference to the area and everyone is anticipating its completion, which should be about August.”

The estate has been blighted by antisocial behaviour in recent years and was the scene of the fatal shooting of 28-year-old resident Anthony Otton in June last year.

Lucy Ivimy, the council’s housing leader, said: “I am delighted work has started on this centre.

“It offers something really important which people living in the centre of Fulham simply don’t have at the moment, and I am sure that residents will support it and make it their own.”

A residents’ steering group has been set up, and people living on the estate will have the chance to help decorate the building by working with an artist on a giant mural.

The decision to include a children’s centre alongside the long-planned community centre was made partly on the basis that funding from central government would otherwise be lost.

It will have baby-changing facilities and room for 20 under-fives and 17 adults, and will host drop-in play programmes, family and child minder support, parenting courses, job advice and health programmes.

The building is being funded by Hammersmith & Fulham Council and the Department of Communities & Local Government.

Lengard Ltd has grown sustainably since 1964 and continues to grow in this tough economic climate.

Lengard has a strong financial base with low staff turnover and dedicated staff, which explains why clients form relationships with the company over decades.

Lengard’s reputation for delivering quality is renowned on projects including new build, refurbishment, remodelling, design and build, and mechanical and electrical installations.

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