SENIOR councillors in Poole have approved hundreds of thousands of pounds in funding towards a multi-million pound project to “transform” a community centre.

Members of Poole council’s cabinet agreed on Tuesday to discuss allocating £200,000 towards the £2.1 million rebuild of Bourne Community Hub into a centre with the “flexibility” to host a pre-school, youth services and community activities.

Councillors first gave their “in principle” backing to the proposals in October 2014 on the condition that a “viable” business case for the centre was produced.

A report to Tuesday’s cabinet by the council’s head of culture and community, Kevin McErlane, said: “The vision of this proposal is to provide a modern community hub at the heart of the Bourne estate working in partnership with Bourne Community Group, Poole Community Trust and the council.

“Extensive community engagement and consultation work has identified the need to improve community activities and services for all ages through a community hub that can act as a source of local pride and optimism and help transform the future of the estate.”

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr John Rampton said that, while he “fully supported” the project, it was “a leap of faith in the organisations involved” and that the council would need to “keep a close eye” on its progression.

Cllr Janet Walton said: “We made a commitment some time ago to support this long term and I think we are looking forward to seeing some of the benefits in this area which I’m sure will be really outstanding.”

Members of the cabinet unanimously agreed to allocate the funding and land for the community hub project.

The scheme already has £1 million in funding available through a grant awarded as part of the Big Local scheme while “up to” a further £550,000 will be allocated to support construction costs.

The proposals will now need to be considered by members of the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole shadow authority’s shadow executive next month before reaching the final hurdle of approval of Borough of Poole’s full council.