Sapphire Jubilee Centre new jewel in community crown

New community centre opens in \Collier Row
(Left to right) Andrew Blake-Herbert, Chief Executive, Havering Council, Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford, Councillor Linda Van den Hende, Mayor of Havering (centre), Councillor Damian White, Cabinet Member for Housing and Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Roger Ramsey, Leader of the Council, with ward councillors and community representatives, open the Sapphire Jubilee Community Centre
Published: Tuesday, 6 February 2018

A new centre for Havering residents in Collier Row has had its official opening. A ribbon- cutting and opening event took place at the impressive new building on Friday 2 February.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Roger Ramsey, Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Damian White, Mayor of Havering, Councillor Linda Van den Hende and MP for Romford, Andrew Rosindell were joined by ward councillors, representatives from the Council and residents, to officially open the new centre, on Bolberry Road, Collier Row. 

Features of the super-insulated building include harvested rainwater to flush all the toilets and to service an outside tap for watering plants, while the hot water and heating has a Ground Source Heat Pump, served by boreholes in the ground.

Inside, the community centre there’s a large modern hall for use by local organisations and for events, as well as a kitchen, toilets and an office.

The building is fully accessible for people with disabilities and, thanks to a grant from The Breyer Foundation, there will be free Wi-Fi available throughout the centre.

Councillor Damian White, Cabinet Member for Housing, and Deputy Leader of the Council said:

“It’s a pleasure to be able to fully hand over this fantastic new facility to the community of Collier Row and wider Havering.

“The pre-fabricated design of this centre meant construction of the building was completed in just four months. 

“The building is very versatile and offers a great space for local residents and community groups to use. I look forward to seeing it become the new jewel in Havering’s community crown.” 

The carbon-neutral structure was built by Northamptonshire based Scotts of Thrapston, specialists in the manufacture and installation of bespoke timber framed buildings, designed specifically for learning, living and leisure.

Richard Jarvis, of Scotts of Thrapston, said: 

“Our brief was to build a carbon neutral building that was extremely versatile and would be of benefit to a wide cross-section of the community. Sustainability and appearance were also important, both externally and internally.

“Our in-house architect worked closely with the Council to offer a complete ‘turnkey’ service from concept to completion. Scotts designed, engineered, manufactured and installed the building to meet the required deadlines.”

A play area for children under 10 years old has been created next to the new building. This has been part-funded by a £10,000 grant from the Tesco Bags of Help fund, which allocates 5p made from the sale of carrier bags to local good causes.

A special handmade plaque, was also unveiled to mark the opening of the Sapphire Jubilee Community Centre.