Finsbury community centre to get �2m revamp

WORK finally started this week on a �2million revamp to a Finsbury community centre.

Builders rolled into St Luke’s Centre in Central Street, which opened in 1982 and has around 200 daily users, to start a major overhaul to bring the centre right up to date.

Martyn Craddock, the centre’s chief executive, said: “This is a really exciting project for us and it’s been in the planning since 2004. Here in our Victorian building we’ve been looking after the local community, particularly the elderly, for the last thirty years and we’re now in a position to bring it up to date and create a modern, accessible and welcoming centre for all.”

St Luke’s, which has traditionally catered to older people but now aims to serve the whole community, will be expanded with a new activity lounge, a cookery classroom, a new caf�, and affordable office space for social enterprises and artists’ studios. The building will also get a new fa�ade.

The work is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, and facilities and services will continue to run while it is carried out.

Mr Craddock added: “Hopefully, disruption will be minimal. We know it’s all going to be well worth it.”

The project has been funded by the St Luke’s Trust, a charity that started with a centuries-old endowment, and the EC1 New Deal for Communities, a pot of money provided by central Government for the regeneration of Finsbury.

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Kirby Swales, chief executive of EC1 NDC, said: “The St Luke’s Centre is greatly used and loved by many residents. The refurbishment will ensure it continues to deliver its popular service for many years to come as well as adapt to the changing needs of local people – young and old alike.”