Old library to become new children's centre

PUBLISHED: 09:27 28 May 2009 | UPDATED: 07:15 30 May 2010

A PROJECT aimed at supporting families with young children which has been successful in some of Essex s most deprived areas will be rolled out at Dunmow s old library. Essex County Council (ECC) plans to convert the old school house building on North Stre

A PROJECT aimed at supporting families with young children which has been successful in some of Essex's most deprived areas will be rolled out at Dunmow's old library.

Essex County Council (ECC) plans to convert the old school house building on North Street into a Children's Centre for under fives and their parents.

ECC Children's community development officer, Gill Holland, explained that the new centre in Dunmow is phase three of a countywide project.

"During phase one we had success in deprived inner city areas where centres made a difference for families looking for information and help on childcare, work and child support," she said.

"Phase two involved us moving out into much less deprived areas by putting in a centre at Stansted Mountfitchet. This has proved really popular partly because of the activities that give parents and children a chance to meet and take part.

"The Stansted centre has a Saturday morning club just for dads for example."

Cash for the project comes from Government funding and the centre is expected to open by the end of June.

The council hope to have at least one centre per 13,500 people in the county and it is possible that Dunmow could end up with extra centres to help meet demand from surrounding villages.

Mrs Holland added: "The new centre will be professionally staffed and opening hours will be flexible depending on what the community wants. Essentially the Dunmow building will be a one-stop place for young families looking for essential services provided all under one umbrella."

The project was met with delight from Dunmow town council members. Cllr Frank Silver and Cllr Clive Smith agreed that it was a needed for the town. Cllr Silver commented: "It is the right location, and the right time. If fitted out and advertised properly it will be a terrific facility."

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