Mid Sussex District Council plans to lease new Burgess Hill community centre to Age UK
Mid Sussex District Council is supporting Age UK West Sussex, Brighton & Hove’s, plans to expand services for older people in Burgess Hill.
The district council has proposed to lease the new Kings Weald community centre on Wyvern Way to Age UK WSBH to help them reach more people and offer more services to over-50s.
The community centre will include a café and activities for children and families, while the halls and rooms will be available for residents to hire.
“This proposal has the potential to be hugely beneficial for Burgess Hill residents of all ages,” said councillor Norman Webster, Mid Sussex District Council cabinet member for community.
He said Age UK WSBH is experienced at managing community venues and ‘can call on an established army of volunteers’ to run the centre.
Norman added that the district council is working with Age UK WSBH on their plans and helping them continue their work supporting older people in Mid Sussex.
“It’s important we work in partnership with local charities to ensure that people have access to the facilities and services they need to thrive,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to seeing even more on offer for older people locally as the plans are put in place.”
A council spokesman said many older people are coping with frailty, isolation and health concerns as lockdown restrictions are lifted.
He said Age UK WSBH aims to hold gatherings in venues across Burgess Hill like church halls, cafes, pubs and the centre at The Cherry Tree.
Housing developer Croudace is now finishing the new facility on the Kings Weald development before it hands ownership over to Mid Sussex District Council.
The council aims to help Age UK WSBH furnish and open the building to the public by late summer.
“The pandemic has been incredibly tough on older people and it’s vital we’re there if they need someone to turn to,” said Jo Clarke, director of partnerships and localities at Age UK WSBH.
“It’s exciting to be expanding like this and working with our clients on having a bigger, better presence across Burgess Hill,” she added.
Age UK WSBH is considering offering more social spaces where people can meet and eat, as well as a bereavement support group, exercise classes, social groups and a playgroup where grandparents can bring grandchildren.
People can share their thoughts by calling Tracey Parle on 01444 236497 or emailing [email protected]