Gorse Ride Community Hub Opens

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There’s a new community space for Finchampstead residents following the opening of the Gorse Ride community hub by the borough Mayor, Cllr Keith Baker MBE. 

Gorse Ride Community Hub
Images taken by Stewart Turkington Photography  

The hub, located at 20 Gorse Ride South, opened on Friday (4 March) and offers residents a place to pop in and meet the council’s community engagement team, Housing Officer, and the regeneration team, who will be using it as their local base whilst the council continues to regenerate the wider area. 

Billing Avenue Hub Closed

The previous community house on Billing Avenue closed at the end of 2021 to make way for the council’s ambitious regeneration plans, which will see 178 existing dated properties replaced with 249 new energy efficient homes, 74% of which will be affordable. In addition to high quality new homes the plans also include a range of improvements such as a new village green for the community to enjoy.  

“It was great to meet some of the local residents and officers at the opening event on Friday.” said the borough Mayor, Cllr Keith Baker. “There’s a real excitement about the regeneration plans and seeing things happening around Gorse Ride. The quality of the first phase at Arnett Avenue shines through, and people can’t wait to see the next phases evolve. However, we recognise that this is going to be a big time of change for those living around Gorse Ride and it’s important that we can continue to provide support whilst the works take place. 

“Our community engagement team do an amazing job, working closely with residents to build relationships and trust so they can address issues and help people access the support they really need. Something we know is increasingly important as the cost-of-living soars and people continue to recover from the pandemic.

Gorse Ride Community Hub
Images taken by Stewart Turkington Photography  

“That’s why facilities like this new hub are so important for our residents. Whether people need help understanding what additional financial support is available, have a neighbour issue to discuss, or simply want to catch up for a chat over a hot drink, then the hub is the perfect place to pop in and meet the team.” 

In addition to providing a local base for the community engagement team, the hub will also be used as a location for the regeneration project team and contractors to host events to keep people updated about the latest news as the project progresses. 

Since gaining planning consent in December 2020 the project has continued to progress with the majority of residents affected by the current phase already rehoused and work well underway to clear and prepare parts of the site ready for main construction this summer. 

Visiting the Community Hub 

How can I visit the Hub?

The Gorse Ride community hub is located at 20 Gorse Ride South, Finchampstead, RG40 4EH and will generally be open for residents to drop-in Monday to Friday from 10am to 2pm.  The hub will be in place during the next two phases of the regeneration project. Residents can also contact the community engagement team by emailing community.engagement.localities@wokingham.gov.uk

Additional Support for Residents 

Worrying about money can feel overwhelming, so please remember help is here. From April, households in Council Tax bands A-D will receive a one-off £150 rebate to help with increased energy costs. If you don’t already pay by Direct Debit, sign up now to ensure your rebate is paid as quickly as possible. You can find more information about help available in the borough on the council’s online Local Support Hub. If you are worried about debt you can also contact One Front Door, led by Citizens Advice Wokingham, for a confidential chat, on 0808 278 7958 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, or via the website.