Celebrations as Preston community centre reopens

The Mayor of Preston officially opening Plungington Community Centre
The Mayor of Preston officially opening Plungington Community Centre
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A community centre, once under threat of closure, has opened its doors again after it was taken over by a Preston-based charity.

Plungington Community Centre had been facing uncertainty after Lancashire County Council ended its running of the building last year.

But Caritas Care has now taken over the Brook Street centre, and leaders hope to turn it into “a place where everyone can come together”.

Community centre manager Craig Chapman said existing groups would continue under new contracts, and said: “It’s up to me to make it exciting and build it up for the community.

“I’m about to undertake a really big project with UCLan where we are doing a mapping of Plungington: who lives here, what are the needs and wants.

“It is such a transient community, there are so many students and people are constantly moving.

“And there are so many different communities with different languages and different cultures coming into the area. I want the community centre to be a place where everyone can come together.

“Thirty years ago, this would have been a really thriving community centre. I can’t bring that community centre back because the community has changed, but what I can do is try to bring the atmosphere back – I’ve set myself a huge challenge. We are trying to break down the notion of what a community centre is.”

The community centre is also home to recovery cafe Re-Caf every Friday from 6pm, providing a safe haven for recovering addicts.

Next year, it will host an open day to celebrate being 150 years old.