Sneak preview of new £22 million centre for community services

DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE -- from left, Danny Doherty, of Laing O'Rourke, Coun Graham Chapman (Lab), of Nottingham City Council, and Hucknall's former Labour MP Paddy Tipping in his role as director of the Greater Nottingham LIFT company -- DISPIC NHUD11-2750-2

DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE -- from left, Danny Doherty, of Laing O'Rourke, Coun Graham Chapman (Lab), of Nottingham City Council, and Hucknall's former Labour MP Paddy Tipping in his role as director of the Greater Nottingham LIFT company -- DISPIC NHUD11-2750-2

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A BEHIND-the-scenes tour has been given of the new £22 million venue that will revolutionise community services in Bulwell.

The Riverside Centre (pictured top and bottom), which is almost complete, will bring services ranging from doctors’ surgeries to Bulwell Library, youth clubs and a Nottingham City Homes office under one roof.

Cash has been splashed on an imposing, spectacular building at the junction of Main Street and Coventry Road.

Its name — inspired by the fact it is next to the River Leen — was put forward by the public and chosen with the help of Bulwell schoolchildren.

Guests taken on the tour included Coun Graham Chapman (Lab), deputy leader of Nottingham City Council, and Hucknall’s former Labour MP, Paddy Tipping.

Mr Tipping is a director of the Greater Nottingham Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) company, which is a public and private partnership organisation involved in funding for Riverside.

They were shown where services such as health clinics, a pharmacy, cafe and indoor and outdoor sports facilities will be housed in the vast building.

Work on the centre has been carried out by construction company Laing O’Rourke. One of the firm’s directors, Danny Doherty, showed the guests around.

He said: “With construction work nearing completion, we were delighted to offer the opportunity to see this exceptional new centre for the local community.”

Planning permission for the Riverside Centre was granted in 2008. Buildings on the site were demolished in the winter of 2009. It is due to officially launch in January, with a grand opening scheduled for next March.

First to move in is Bulwell Community Toy Library, which will be running play sessions for families at the Riverside Centre in partnership with the city council’s family community team from next Tuesday (November 1).

Coun David Mellen (Lab), the city council’s lead member for children’s services, said: “Riverside is being created to give families an easy, convenient and local way to access services.” — DISPICS NHUD 11-2750-1and 4.