A COMMUNITY has lent a hand painting the inside of a new centre they campaigned to keep.

Along with members of Sovereign Housing staff, residents got stuck in decorating the inside of the former United Reformed Church in Someford.

A campaign by residents, councillors and Somerford Community Partnership to save the former Somerford Community Centre at Southey Road, led to an agreement between both sides to redevelop the hall for housing and provide a new community hall at the former church.

The Southey Road centre will now be redeveloped to provide nine houses with a £46,000 refurbishment of the former URC.

Chris Hopkins, who chairs the management committee, and is also chairman of Somerford Community Partnership said: “I’d like to thank those people who gave up their weekend to help out, and make it a success. Everyone who took part enjoyed the day.”

The newly refurbished centre is being handed over to the residents’ committee and a contractor is carrying out work to make the building ready for opening around April.

Winston Nelson, Sovereign’s regional housing manager, said: “This ‘paint day’ was a success – and not just because most of the paint ended up on the walls; it was yet another example of how the community is pulling together to bring about improvements to Somerford.

“The existing community centre is no longer fit for purpose, so it’s great that we will be able to redevelop that site to provide much-needed affordable homes, while the people of Somerford will get a brand new, fully refurbished community centre.”

The event was supported by the local McDonalds, who provided lunch to the volunteers for free.