Work is now officially underway on a new £2million community hub in Aveley.
Thurrock Council has worked in partnership with Aveley Village Community Forum, Thurrock Community and Voluntary Services (CVS) and other local partners on plans for a modern new community centre to be built at Aveley Recreation Ground.
Once complete, the building will be home to the village's library, which will relocate from its current location in Purfleet Road, as well as a café, nursery, hall, office space and community meeting rooms. It will also have fully accessible Changing Places toilets and special facilities to support people with disabilities in learning important independent living skills.
The project officially got underway today with a ground breaking ceremony, coinciding with a family fun day at Aveley Recreation Ground.
Cllr Mark Coxshall, portfolio holder for regeneration, said: "This project has been a long time in coming and I am delighted to see the first digger on site, marking the start of construction.
"We have been working very closely with Aveley Village Community Forum to make sure the new hub meets the needs of the local community and I am sure this new building will be a huge asset to the area.
"I am particularly pleased that the scheme is primarily being funded by developer contributions, ensuring recent housing development in Aveley brings significant benefits to existing residents."
Cllr Deborah Huelin, portfolio holder for communities, said: "Our existing community hubs and centres in Thurrock are extremely well valued by the communities they serve, as I am sure this one will be.
"I am very pleased to see building work is now getting underway and looking forward to watching the project come to fruition."
Cllr Barbara Rice, Mayor of Thurrock, added: "It was great to see our residents come together for this family fun day and mark the start of work on an important new building that will be at the very heart of the community."
The new building is being constructed by locally-based Beardwell Construction. Major work is scheduled to start on site in mid-November and the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.