The Mayor and dignitaries at the ribbon cutting
Havering dignitaries were out in full force on Friday (February 2) to officially open the new Sapphire Jubilee Community Centre in Hill Rise, Collier Row.
Members of the local community came out to watch the official opening and pay tribute to the centre, which is carbon neutral with solar panels, a ground source heat pump to generate heating for the centre and rainwater capture so water can be used for flushing toilets.
Havering Council Leader, Councillor Roger Ramsey was present alongside, Deputy Council Leader, Councillor Damien White and Havering Mayor, Councillor Linda Van den Hende.
Romford MP Andrew Rosindell gave the official speech and paid tribute to all that hard work done to achieve the facility.
He said: “I’m really proud to be here today to unveil and open the new Sapphire Jubilee Community Centre in Hill Rise.
I was a councillor for this area for 12 years, I’ve been the MP for 17 years and it’s a very proud day to see the regeneration of this part of Romford and this particular estate, which has needed it for a very long time.
Cllr Van den Hende performed the official ribbon cutting and locals were impressed with the eco-friendly design, which is fully accessible for people with disabilities and also has an underfloor induction loop for people with hearing difficulties.
Local community member and Chairman of the Highview Residents Association Mark Alder, said: “The old centre was very limited on space and what you could do with it. This building is light, airy and has four times the space of the old one. It will benefit the community in so many ways.”
A play area has also been created next to the building to cater for children under the age of ten.
“It really is a special new place, the design is unique, and I’m proud to have been invited to unveil the plaque and officially open the centre so the whole community can see it as a welcoming place for them to use.”
“It was dedicated to Her Majesty The Queen in the Year of her sapphire jubilee. and I’m very proud to have been invited to unveil the plaque and officially open the centre , Mr Rosindell added.
Cllr Ramsey said: “It’s marvellous to be able to provide this centre through our housing department at no cost to the council tax payer.”