September 2 2014 Latest news:
By Matthew Gooding
Monday, June 9, 2014
A community hub has already become a “gem” at the heart of a village according to a councillor.
The Melbourn Community Hub was officially opened on Saturday, with South Cambridgeshire MP Andrew Lansley cutting the ribbon on the building, which is the brainchild of Melbourn Parish Council.
It has been in use since February, but Saturday’s ceremony was a chance to invite local dignitaries to view the facility, which contains a library access point, meeting rooms and a café with free WiFi.
Cllr Jose Hales, district councillor for Melbourn, said: “From a personal point of view I think we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the parish council for being so courageous in taking the decision to go ahead with the project.
“They’ve created a gem in the village which is already a really well-used facility, despite having only been open for three or four months.
“The Citizens’ Advice Bureau use it for their sessions, so do Relate, and South Cambridgeshire District Council have held meetings and training sessions for staff there.”
The library at the Hub, which is housed on the site of Melbourn’s old police station, has proved a particularly popular addition.
“We’ve had about 150 new sign-ups for the library this year,” said Cllr Hales. “It’s open from 2.30pm-4.30pm, and loads of children go in there after school to read a book and have a drink and a biscuit and are happy sitting there minding their own business.”
Melbourn Parish Council put £250,000 into the project, with other funding coming from various bodies including the Hundred Houses Society, which owns the land where the hub is built. A scheme of 13 affordable homes has been constructed nearby.
Cllr Hales said: “Myself and the parish council are indebted to the Hundred Houses Society for their fantastic support on seeing this project through.”
Present at the opening ceremony was Ron Brooksbank, one of the final sergeants based at Melbourn Police Station before it closed. Mr Brooksbank, who still lives in the village, has seen a road on the new housing scheme named ‘Brooksbank’ in his honour.