Saved Sheffield community centre ready to rise like '˜phoenix from the ashes' in 2019
A community centre in one of Sheffield's most deprived neighbourhoods is on courseÂ to fully reopen early next year after a major refurbishment.
Grimesthorpe Family Centre was facing closure a few years ago but is enjoying a revival afterÂ a major campaign to save the run-down premises was launched last year.
Trustees of the centre, on the corner of Wansfell Road and Hollywell Road, were earlier this year granted a 25-year lease on the building by the Diocese of Sheffield and received Â£39,500 from Veolia Environmental Trust to fix the leaky roof.
The roof is now watertight and ex-offenders working with the South Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company have helped repay their debt to society by decorating the interior, which has also been completely rewired.
Two further grants of Â£10,000 from The Clothworkers' FoundationÂ for new windows and Â£5,000 from the Brelms Trust have also been secured,Â and trustees are waiting for news about three further bids which would help complete the refurbishment and potentially pay for new activities.
Philip Ireson, one of the team behind the centre's turnaround, says it is hoped the building can fully re-openÂ by Easter and become busier than ever.
He said: 'The new grants mean that after Christmas we'll be able to crack on with the remaining work and the community can start using it again as soon as possible.
'It's been a threatened building for years so to have it looking so good, and so much more energy efficient, is amazing. It's risen like a phoenix from the ashes.
'We're hoping allÂ the groups which were already using it will return -Â including the new boxing club, which has proved a big hit -Â and it will become a popular choice for birthday parties and other celebrations.'
The 110-year-old former church hall has for many years been home to the Rendezvous Youth Club, run by June Luxon and her family, and has also hosted a church group, mindfulness classes and other activities.
In recent years, it has become a popular resource for members of the area's large Roma community, many of whom joined the fledgling boxing club there.
For more information about the centre, visit grimesthorpefamilycentre.wordpress.com or callÂ 07580 962443.