The Marsh Community Centre first surfaced as an idea around 1997. A local man on the marsh estate (Wayne Brennand) spoke to the free Citizen newspaper about the desperate need for the Centre in the area. The Citizen ran a front page article on the issue.
Councillor Jon Barry contacted Wayne and a rather chaotic meeting was held in the Victoria pub on the corner of West Road and Willow Lane! This culminated in a public meeting in the St George’s Church building (now the housing development next to the Centre). Publicity for the meeting took the form of a double-decker bus driven around the Marsh estate! The most important thing to come out of the meeting was a promise of financial support from the Council.
Planning towards the Centre took place over the next five years until work eventually started on construction in 2002. In that time, we had a failed lottery bid and plans were scaled down from a million pound building to a £200,000 one. Eventually we decided to ‘go for it’ and to build the shell of the building. Money for decorating, equipment and carpets came later. The priority was just getting the Centre built.
“We are here to help, nobody is turned away, just ask.”Debz – Centre Manager