10:55 Monday 27 January 2014

New lease of life for Larkfield Centre in Ely

Written byJORDAN DAY

The Larkfield Centre in High Barns, Ely. The Larkfield Centre in High Barns, Ely.

A community centre in Ely has been temporarily closed for a major refurbishment.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds is being spent on giving the Larkfield day care centre, in High Barns, a new lease of life.

Cambridgeshire County Council, which owns the building, says its budget for the internal revamp is £800,000 and that the work is being carried out by Witchford-based firm, Andy Knott Construction.

The centre is now closed and the authority hopes to re-open it by May 23.

In the mean time, all of Larkfield’s day service users are being accommodated at another county council-owned building - The Forum in Ely’s Barton Road.

Other users of the building, including the North Ely Over 60’s group, are meeting elsewhere until the work is complete.

Vicky Hearne-Casapieri, chairman of EARTH, a horticultural charity which uses the centre, said: “We’ve been moved to The Forum while the refurbishment work is being carried out.

“Everything is running smoothly at the moment and we’re looking forward to seeing the new-look centre.”

The revamp includes replacing the building’s heating system and transforming the run-down kitchen into a small cafe.

A council spokesman said: “We are currently doing an internal refurbishment scheme to bring the Larkfield centre up to modern standards.

“The work includes replacing the heating system, including renewing the boilers to modern, efficient models and new energy efficient radiators, upgrading the lights to energy efficient LED fittings and upgrading the insulation in both the roof and walls.

“We are also making alterations to the building’s layout to suit the day service provision provided from site, refurbishing certain areas to provide new flooring and decorations and upgrading the old, commercial kitchen to a café, with catering provision, run by the day centre users.

“Our budget for the work is £800,000 and the projected end date is May 23.

“Works are being undertaken by Andy Knott Construction following a competitive tender process.”

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