Dee Park residents select name for new community centre
Following a month-long public consultation, residents in Dee Park have chosen ‘Dee Space’ as the name for the new community centre, which is expected to open in the coming months.
Catalyst, part of the Peabody Group, and in partnership with Reading Borough Council, asked local residents to choose a name for the new community centre that local people feel a close connection to. By popular vote, Dee Park residents chose Dee Space for the new community centre from a choice of three names, all of which were suggested by local people and shortlisted by local councillors.
The new name was chosen by Dee Park resident and local volunteer Dominique Grandison, who won a prize alongside resident Awais Mohammed in a prize draw.
Work began on the new community centre in 2021, and the new facility is expected to open in Spring 2023. When it opens, the spaces will be available to hire for a variety of different clubs, community groups, events, and parties.
The new community centre is being delivered by Catalyst in Phase 2c of the Dee Park regeneration. When complete, it will have a raft of new facilities for the local community, including a new hall, a children’s centre managed by Reading Borough Council, and new meeting rooms.
As well as the community centre, the regeneration has already delivered over 500 new homes, 250 of which are affordable, and Oak Tree House an extra care residential facility. Environmental and infrastructure improvements, and the re-provision of retail and commercial facilities have also been completed.
Catalyst and Reading Borough Council are also reviewing the future and final phase of the Dee Park regeneration, which will deliver more affordable homes. The plans for the final phase are being updated and brought in line with new planning policies and local priorities. Following its full merger with Catalyst this April, Peabody will work in partnership with the council to bring forward the final phase of the regeneration in consultation with the local community.
Sahil Khan, Director of Community Strategy, Partnerships and Funding at Peabody, said: “Dee Space will be a hugely valuable place for both Dee Park residents and the wider community, and it is a cornerstone of the regeneration. We want Dee Park residents to love where they live – and that’s why it was so important to us that residents have their say on the name of their new community centre. We have designed the community centre to be a welcoming, flexible space that will suit the needs of the community and are looking forward to opening its doors this spring.”
Councillor Ellie Emberson, councillor for Housing in Reading, said: “Dee Space will be a welcome addition for the local community for years to come. I know local councillors, Jo Lovelock, Colette Dennis and Graeme Hoskin, wanted to make sure that the new community centre is part of the fabric of Dee Park from day one and we are so grateful to all the residents who took part and helped us to come up with this new name.”
Dominique Grandison, resident and competition winner, said: “I’m so looking forward to the opening of our new community centre Dee Space. I chose this name as I visualise a space that’s welcoming of everybody in the community. The new centre will create a safe space for all whilst encouraging socialisation, combatting loneliness, and bringing people together in the local and wider community. Having a nearby space that people can hire for parties and community groups is fantastic, and I can’t wait to see it”.