Brackenbury Centre opens on Portland

Sammy Polley, right, at the opening of the Brackenbury Centre on Portland

Sammy Polley, right, at the opening of the Brackenbury Centre on Portland

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

AN OLD Portland school has re-opened its doors to the public as a space for art, clubs and socialising.

Brackenbury School in Fortuneswell, Portland was taken over as a community space after it closed its doors and moved to new premises as part of the Chesil Cove Federation School project.

Funded by the Neighbour-hood Panel at Synergy Housing and with help from Weymouth Community Volunteers the school has been revamped and turned into a space for the community of Portland.

The organisers hope that local art and social groups will now utilise the space for parties, workshops, sports clubs and community activities.

Project manager Sammy Polley said they had been working hard to get the space ready for the big launch.

She said: “I want to see it used by the community again. We want noise and for the project room to be used as an arts room. There are a lot of artists who want to put on groups and so that’s the plan.”

The hall including the kitchen and toilets will cost £8.50 an hour to hire.

Chairman of the Synergy Housing Neighbourhood Panel Garry Urwin said it was a fantastic space for the community. He said: “It’s about giving back to the community.”

Community Development Officer for Synergy housing Angela Gould said that the vision for the future was to have the centre used throughout the week by different groups. She said: “We wanted to make it usable as a community space and provide after school and weekend activities.

“The whole idea of the re-opening was to find out what people want and get feedback and see what activities the community wants here.”

At the launch children, teenagers and adults were able to try out a fun bungee game as well as have their faces painted.

Carol Cruickshank organiser of the giant wall said the project was to celebrate the people in our lives that had inspired us. She said: “There will be two wall hangings made.”

Co-organiser Olivia Nurrish said: “it’s been very successful. We have already got 150 portraits.”

For more information about the Brackenbury centre or to book it call Sammy Polley on 0752822408.

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