Modular building brings hope to community centre

High crime rates and increasing unemployment are putting enormous pressure on many local communities and none more so than Somerton in Newport, Gwent.

Modular Building – Boxing Ring

But, here, the community spirit has been re-born through an inventive and inspirational walk-in community centre called the Hope Centre, which is not only bringing local people together through leisure pursuits and team building exercises, but is also offering retraining opportunities for the community’s long-term unemployed and disadvantaged youngsters.

And, here a portable building provided by Portable Offices has created the ideal environment to house these new facilities and provide a comfortable learning platform for the community.

Modular Building – Hope Centre Gwent

A 200 sq metre modular building extension has provided space for a state-of-the-art fitness centre complete with boxing ring, gymnasium, weights room and wrap-around corridor to link the training rooms, cafe and offices. Portable Offices built the units in just four weeks and installation took just one week.

Funded by the lottery, the Hope Centre provides a breakfast club and child care facility which enables local women to get back into employment. It also provides Homestart, a family support group, a credit union savings and lending scheme and holds dance and fitness classes.

Sales Manager, Dean Dixon explains: “This permanently staffed, flagship community centre provides a walk-in facility for both young and old with a fully equipped IT suite and a financial advice centre together with the latest fitness training equipment.

“The exacting brief stipulated an extension to the existing modular building that blended in with the design and structure to provide a wrap-around corridor and new gymnasium facilities.  An over-riding concern was the need for a cost-effective and time-efficient turnaround as there were considerable budget restraints.”

Modular Building – Cut The Ribbon

Run by volunteers, the facility acts as a hub for the local people providing formerly excluded members of society with new hope and an important role in learning new skills and for many others with sports talents, the opportunity to mentor younger people and teach them fitness techniques has developed into full time employment.

So successful is the centre, that the area’s reported crime rate has dropped by 8.3 per cent in the past 12 months and anti-social behaviour has been reduced by a massive 32.5 per cent.

Bev Weaver, community co-ordinator, commented: “We have been overwhelmed by the difference this centre has made to the community.  We have 85 registered members and numerous volunteers with a core team of around 10 regulars who really run the place. The gym has gone on to become a separate profit centre and local people come along and use the equipment for just £1 a go.

“The opening of the extension has proved a real attraction.  We were incredibly impressed with the product and the service we received from Portable Offices. Nothing was too much trouble and they bent over backwards to accommodate our changing needs.”