Work set to start on Aylsham community centre

Work is due to begin this Friday on a major part of the jigsaw making up the final redevelopment of Aylsham's St Michael's Hospital site.

Members of the Aylsham Care Trust (ACT) will join the charity's founder Rees Coghlan at the site to celebrate the start of building work on ACT's community centre.

It will form part of the emerging St. Michael's Care Complex in Aylsham which is being built on land donated by Mr Coghlan.

The centre, due to be finished early next year, will include a caf�, a commercial kitchen, computer and training rooms, office space and a large multi-purpose hall for community use.

Mr Coghlan said: 'This is my dream coming true. For a long time I have wanted to see greater provision of services for the residents of Aylsham and when the whole complex is completed we will have the means of providing those services particularly, but not exclusively, for older and disabled people.'

Jenny Manser, ACT chairman, said the centre would provide an extra amenity for the people of Aylsham and the surrounding district.

When finished, St Michael's Care Complex will comprise a health centre, a housing with care scheme, and a nursing home, in addition to the community centre.

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St Michael's Court, the 86-bedded nursing home, is already open and includes nine beds commissioned by the NHS for patients ready to leave hospital who need extra care before returning home.

Work is due to start this spring on both the housing with care scheme, to be owned and managed by Wherry Housing Association, and the health centre, which is being built by a new local charity with a lease to the NHS.