A focal point for the community in Gorton has been given a new lease of life thanks to a five-figure restoration project.
For nearly 40 years the Gorton Community Centre has grown to become a lynchpin for East Manchester Residents.
Supporting pensioners to new mums, the staff of the centre have been able to help generations of Mancunians from the cradle to their twilight years.
A community grocer has also been established at the centre, providing cheap and healthy food to residents for a fraction of the retail price.
But after four decades the centre had declined into a state of disrepair and ran the risk of no longer being fit for purpose. However, as a result of its partnership work with Manchester City Council and its commitment to corporate social responsibility, construction giant Kier were able to step in to help the community centre.
During April they carried out a full, and completely free refurbishment of the centre which would have ordinarily cost more than £10,000.
On April 12 after a hectic week the keys were handed back over to the centre’s management, who were ready to get back into the busy day-to-day business of running a vibrant community hub.
Councillor Nigel Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council said: “Strong communities contribute to a stronger Manchester and places such as the Gorton Community Centre are where life long bonds of friendship and solidarity are made.
"Over the decades Manchester has changed immeasurably but one thing which has remained constant is the spirit of its residents. The work which goes on at the community centre whether it is classes for our older citizens, drop in sessions for new mums, or even somewhere to have a cup of tea and a chat is so important in building a sense of pride in the community.
"It would be fair to say that over the decades the Gorton Community Centre had seen better days. But, thanks to the time, money and effort of Kier the centre is now fit for the 21st century and a place all residents can be proud of.
"Corporate Social Responsibility is something Manchester City Council takes very seriously, and we are pleased that Kier have been an enthusiastic partner throughout this project. As well as covering the costs of this refurbishment, apprentices have also been taken on by Kier to help them develop, and learn core skills needed for future employment.”
The reopening of the Gorton Community Centre
Kier’s Regional Director Garry Bowker said: “We’re a Manchester-based company and as a result of that, we like to get involved in community projects. Social value is big on our agenda. We’ve made a commitment to support the local community in Gorton and it’s nice to see everybody here today. It’s clearly a very well used centre and long may it continue.”
Guests inside the Gorton Community Centre