WORK started on Tuesday to create a £300,000 community centre in the grounds of Hyde Church.

The building on the side of the Church of the Holy Ascension will be warm, welcoming and accessible.

The multi-use community centre has been funded after a massive effort by volunteers, spearheaded by vicar Rev Jenny Alidina and her husband Naj. They have worked throughout the past two years to turn this vision for the community into a reality. And finally, the first brick has been laid.

The building will be brick-built and ‘green’, with an energy-efficient air-source heat-pump heating system, up-to-date insulation and double-glazed windows. It will be fully accessible to people with disabilities and limited mobility plus parents and carers with pushchairs.

It is hoped the new centre will be completed by the end of the year, and will have a meeting room which can be divided into two, plus a kitchen and toilets. The upstairs room has been earmarked for young people, but will also be used as a separate meeting room.

The centre will be available for the whole community to use as well as being home to Hyde Pre-school. The Veolia Environmental Trust has awarded £36,699 to this project through the Landfill Communities Fund. Further grants have been received from Hampshire Community Buildings Fund, Grant Weston and from Rank, along with many individual contributions and money raised from special events.

Fundraising committee member Catherine Avery Jones said: “The finished building will be a fantastic focus for community activities and events and will help the church to achieve its mission to improve local facilities for people living in the area.”