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11th April 2016

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This week, the Beaulieu Community Trust, hosted a formal ground-breaking service, to mark the start of construction of the brand new Community Centre at the heart of the Beaulieu Square Neighbourhood Centre development in Chelmsford. The Beaulieu Community Trust, formed of representatives from Beaulieu Church (a congregation of the Church of England), Springfield Parish Council and local residents will be responsible for managing and curating events at the Beaulieu Community Centre for residents of Beaulieu and the wider Springfield community.

Led by the Reverend Lee Batson, Chair of the Beaulieu Community Trust, the ground-breaking event on 5th April was attended by the Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Paul Hutchinson, Cllr Susan Sullivan (Chair of Springfield Parish Council), the Bishop of Bradwell, and the Archdeacon of Chelmsford, alongside representatives from the Trust and developers Countryside.

The new Beaulieu Community Centre is ideally located within the Beaulieu Square Neighbourhood Centre which will feature five striking buildings around a central landscaped square. Bright Horizons Day Nursery and a Sainsbury’s Local store, a range of retail outlets, a restaurant, and a health centre will also take residence at Beaulieu Square.

Councillor Paul Hutchinson, Mayor of Chelmsford commented: "Great partnership working between the developers, Countryside, and Chelmsford City Council planning department, and subsequently Springfield Parish Council and Beaulieu Church has produced the exciting local neighbourhood centre at Beaulieu Square which will incorporate the Beaulieu Community Centre. Residents of the new community will have a ready-made local hub, for shopping, health care, nursery and a host of community activities. And being fully accessible, the centre will be available for use by all local people.

It is wonderful to see the results of so many years hard work by all partners and I am sure with this ground-breaking celebration the building will begin apace and provide a perfect facility for all to enjoy."

The Area Bishop of Bradwell, Rt Revd John Wraw, added: “The Diocese of Chelmsford really welcomes the construction of this new community centre.It is so good that this building will be a living expression of a community that is already coming together and, working it partnership, it demonstrates the Church’s commitment to this community and recognises that church and community space is open to God’s presence.”

Speaking about the Community Centre, Reverend Lee Batson, said: “This is an exciting new venture, bringing together the Parish Council and the Church.We are delighted that it will provide a focus for the new community and the existing residents of Beaulieu Park.The Community Trust is also pleased that the new centre will be the most accessible publicly hireable facility in the City, with a Changing Places certified toilet and shower for those who are disabled and other modifications to make it a place that all can use and enjoy.”

Andrew Carrington, Managing Director of Strategic Land at Countryside, which is partnering with L&Q to deliver Beaulieu, comments: “Providing first-class community amenities and a central point for residents to come together is crucial to the long-term success of Beaulieu, and vital to ensure the new community can thrive. We are delighted to begin work on delivering this fantastic community asset and look forward to welcoming residents to the centre next year.”

Beaulieu Square is situated off White Hart Lane in Springfield, next to the new primary and secondary schools planned to be built at Beaulieu, making it accessible to Springfield residents as well as the new residents moving into Beaulieu.

Residents and the wider community will be able to get involved with a wide range of activities and initiatives at the Beaulieu Community Centre, which will also serve as a place of worship. Under the guidance of the Beaulieu Community Trust, the Centre will help to establish a real sense of belonging, allowing both new and existing residents to come together as a community.

Construction of Beaulieu Square, including the Community Centre, is expected to take approximately 14 months, with the facilities scheduled to open in the summer of 2017.If you wish to find out more about the Community Centre, or express an interest in hiring its facilities, please contact Revd Lee Batson (01245) 451087.

Information correct at time of publication.