Newham

Enhanced East Ham community neighbourhood centre to benefit local residents

6 July 2017 in Community neighbourhoods
East Ham residents are set to benefit from an enhanced community neighbourhood centre designed to help get them more involved in their local area.​
A host of improvements have been made to East Ham library in Barking Road to turn it into an inviting centre for all residents to use and enjoy. These include new large community spaces providing areas for events, exhibitions and displays by local groups and organisations, a 50 seater study area and a new café.

The new look centre will be officially unveiled at a special open day on Saturday 22 July, which will be attended by the Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, together with the council’s Deputy Mayor (Statutory) for Strategic Delivery and Cabinet Member for Community Neighbourhoods, Regeneration and Planning and Public Affairs, Councillor Ken Clark.

As well as the enhancements to the library, which will be renamed East Ham Community Neighbourhood Centre, local residents will benefit from extended opending hours. From  Monday 17 July the centre will open from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9.30am to 8pm on Saturday.

Among the changes to the centre are three community rooms for residents and groups and a new children’s play and activity area. Other improvements include  new computers, and  sockets in the new study area for people to plug in their own laptops and smartphones.

The community spaces will be on the ground floor with the library on the first floor. As well as borrowing  books and audio books from the library, residents will now be able to access more than six million titles through the London Library Consortium which enables libraries across the capital share items with each other.

Sir Robin said: “We are committed to building a strong cohesive community, and our community neighbourhood centres play a key role in achieving this vision.

“There is a fantastic network of groups, organisations and activities across the borough that help people get more involved in, and play a key role in developinging and enhancing, their local areas.

“Transforming the library in East Ham into a community neighbourhood centre gives these groups a platform to help local residents meet new people, take up a new hobby and find out more about their local area.”

Councillor Clark said: “We want to bring about real change in the quality of life for our residents and our work across community neighbourhoods is a vital part in this.

“The new facilities build on those already available at the centre. However, we want our community neighbourhood centres to be more than just libraries. We want them to be at the heart of the communities and these improvements mean there is so much more on offer now for East Ham residents.

“The transformation of the library into a community neighbourhood centre was mainly carried out while the library was still open. I would like to thank residents for their patience and I hope they will now reap the benefits of our work.”

The council’s Customer Service Centre will continue to be based on the building.