Built on two floors, the 410 sq m Warren Centre will meet not only Micheldever Station’s fast-changing needs, but also those of the wider community. “It’s stunning and such a community asset to the growing village,” said Mr Brine.
The Centre’s suite of meeting/presentation rooms, fully-fitted kitchen, changing rooms and showers are designed to appeal to clubs and societies, small businesses and homeworkers, pre- and after-schoolchildren’s groups, and football and cricket teams using the adjacent recreation ground. The refurbished 1960s Warren Hall will continue to be used for exhibitions, parish meetings and large social events. A volunteer-run village shop for commuters using the nearby railway station is also planned.
Steve Brine continued: “These facilities are so much more than a place to hold events or meetings, they are part of what holds a community together and this will do that for many years to come. It was a huge privilege to officially open the centre, but all the credit goes to the team who made this happen and to the organisations that gave the money.”
Facilities for people with disabilities include dedicated toilets and a lift to take wheelchairs up to the first floor. All ground floor rooms are warmed by underfloor central heating.
Project manager Felicity Botham said: “The very successful opening of The Warren Centre marks the start of a new opportunity for the community. The conference facilities should support a range of local projects, while the numbers signing up to help in the new community shop bode well for the future. Enthusiasm is running high and many are coming forward with offers to join the various committees focusing on the Centre’s future.”
The design, construction and fitting-out costs of £508k were met by grants from Hampshire County, Winchester City and Micheldever Parish Councils, Open Space, The Veolia Environmental Trust (awarded through the Landfill Communities Fund), Bernard Sunley Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Rank Foundation, Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, and Zurich Community Trust. A Public Works Loan was obtained through the parish council.
The Warren Centre was designed by architect Derek Phillips of Southampton and built by J F Building Services Ltd.