Oxford City Council is expected to agree an extra £1.298M investment in the East Oxford Community Centre redevelopment when its Cabinet meets next week.
The redevelopment project is a huge investment in east Oxford’s communities, providing a redeveloped community centre and new social, shared ownership and private sale housing in one of the city’s most popular and mixed areas.
The project was put on pause during the pandemic and restarted in December 2021. Inflation on materials and labour in the construction sector has been running high as a result of international events including the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
Despite inflation the redevelopment is making progress, and demolition of the 20th century buildings and extensions at East Oxford Community Centre began in May. The project demonstrates the council’s commitment to the area’s communities, a once in a generation project that will provide modern, adaptable and sustainable space for decades to come.
The new centre will be built to low carbon standards, combining insulation, solar panels, heat pump technology and natural light to cut the energy needs of the building. It will provide space that can be easily divided and expanded so that more groups and activities can use the centre. There will also be twelve council-owned homes for social rent on the site at Princes Street.
The community centre has been in need of refurbishment for some years, and community consultation in 2016 showed community support for a full-scale redevelopment part-funded by building new homes on nearby sites. Maintaining and upgrading the existing buildings was not compatible with tackling the climate crisis and helping Oxford achieve net-zero, key commitments from the council.
“We’re proud to be investing in east Oxford’s communities. Good community facilities can make a huge difference to tackling inequality and giving people affordable opportunities. It was clear when we restarted the project after the pandemic that there would be increased costs, but over the lifetime of the new centre it will provide so much more value to people here, and it will be a place that inspires and changes lives for generations.”
Councillor Ajaz Rehman, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Communities