Celebrating a new beginning for community centre in Bury St Edmunds


Residents on the Westley Estate, in Bury St Edmunds, are being invited to a fun day next month to mark a new beginning for their community centre.

The Westbury Centre charity has been purposely set up to take over the ownership of the Westbury Community Centre in Oliver Road. The charity itself is made up of the same group of committed volunteers who have been running the centre in recent years.

To mark the new ownership, the charity has organised a community fun day on July 1.

The event will include afternoon entertainment from 2.30pm with a barbecue, bouncy castles, a podium challenge, a chance for children to have their photo taken alongside some of their favourite Disney characters, a bungee run and more. The club bar will be open from noon and food will be available throughout the day.

Then in the evening there will be live music from 6.30pm to 8.30pm by guitarist/singer Tyger O’Connor followed by glam rock band All Glammed Up who will be performing from 9pm to 11pm.

Brian Sutton, one of the charity’s trustees, said: “We want people to know that this is their community centre and we want them to be a part of its exciting new future.

“We already run popular activities and clubs at the Westbury with groups such as Slimming World, a toddler’s play group, ballet classes, chairobics, boxercise, a classic dance group, coffee mornings and the charity Thera East all holding regular events here.

“The centre has also been hired for private functions including wedding receptions, engagement parties, Christenings and birthdays and a darts tournament, while our social club next door, includes a bar, games facilities and live music.

“Of course, we are always open to new ideas and activities if there is something that residents would like to see or have available on their doorstep.”

The centre was previously owned by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

Councillor Robert Everitt, Cabinet Member for Families and Communities and one of the ward representatives of the estate, said: “It has long been our belief that community centres such as this, are more successful and better used, when they are owned and managed by the community itself. We have already transferred ownership of other communities elsewhere to groups representing the local area. Indeed, the experience at the Chalkstone Community Centre in Haverhill and Southgate Community Centre in Bury St Edmunds, is that both have seen a marked increase in use since they were transferred to community ownership. This is because both have been able to better identify and meet the needs of their local community and I see no reason why Westbury’s future should not be equally as successful.”

The Westbury Centre will also be holding its annual meeting on June 23, at 7.30pm, when local residents can come along and give their input on how the centre is run and what activities they would like at their community centre.

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