On Thursday 3rd of November Baroness Dorothy Thornhill and Graham Taylor ex-England Manager officially opened the NEW revamped Meriden Community Centre. See Video here.
She was really excited that the about this project, it has been a long time coming but we finally got there. The Meriden Community Centre has received a major ‘face-lift’ thanks to the involvement and support of a number of organisations.
Dorothy says "The community had become run down, but now after regeneration work, we have done work on the play equipment it has had an premiere upgrade, and she wants people to feel proud of where they live and that they have this in their area."
"It is great that we have high calibre support from the Premire League Watford Football Club" which is the icing on the cake , with a cherry on top.
The Meriden Community Centre project was made possible by funding and support from several organisations; Sport England, Watford Borough Council, The FA and Premier League Facilities Fund delivered by the Football Foundation, Watford Community Housing Trust, Watford Football Club as well as Watford FC’s Community Sports and Education Trust itself. The vision of all of these organisations has now been made reality as the Centre boasts brand new facilities such as the 3G artificial grass pitch, male and female changing rooms and state of the art gym, as well as the revamped main hall, flexible space and café.
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said:
“I am delighted that a grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has enabled Watford Community Sports and Education Trust to build a new 3G pitch and changing rooms. This development will provide a real boost to sport in the local area.
“Since 2000, the Football Foundation has supported grassroots projects worth more than £1.3bn, investing into areas where the need is greatest
and where it will have the biggest impact in terms of getting more people playing football and a wide range of other sports.”
Anthony Joshua the world champion boxer 'who is a meriden lad himself' sent a good luck message saying "you can aspire".
"The centre is for everyone old and young, and for example, today there was an art class was on during the day." We need a centre which to move with the times and give people what they need in the21st century.
The refurbished facility has been designed for the whole of the local community, irrespective of age, ability, gender, ethnicity, or background. The new community hub is set to boost sports participation by 49% with the new 3G pitch to be used by a range of local grassroots clubs, including: Garston Ladies FC, Everett Rovers FC and Garston Boys FC. The Meriden Centre will offer everything from 5-a-side to a Veterans League, while also equipped for table tennis, yoga, martial arts and dance. As well as sport, the Centre will offer areas for hire and a variety of activities such as, art class, music gym and social clubs.
The final thoughts of the day were with the Trust’s Community Director, Rob Smith;
“Today has been a great celebration of everything that has been achieved in regenerating this building, this is now a Centre we can truly be proud of. I would say congratulations and thank you to everyone that has helped us along the way. But now of course the work doesn’t stop there, we will continue to work tirelessly in making sure we use this facility to directly engage with the community”
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