Councillors have given the go ahead for a comprehensive programme of renovation work to begin at The Paddock’s Community Centre on Canvey Island.
More than £880k has been set aside to improve the building in the coming months.
Work will include improvements to both the interior and exterior as well as upgrading electrics, heating, lighting and ventilation systems.
The decision to go ahead with the work was taken at a meeting of Castle Point Borough Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday (March 22).
It follows a comprehensive assessment by the Council’s Paddocks Working Group, which was tasked by Cabinet last October to assess what repairs are needed and prioritise their completion.
Cllr David Blackwell, Leader of the Council, said: “We want to ensure that we make The Paddocks as good as it can be as quickly as possible.
“While £880k might seem like a large sum, we know it will not be enough to undertake all the repairs we want and our intention is for these works to be a first step as we investigate ways of bringing in further investment through grants and other means.”
Decisions on what work to do first have been taken working closely with The Friends of The Paddocks Trust.
A main contractor will be appointed to oversee the works and the evaluation process will incentivise the use of local traders who will be encouraged to come forward and express an interest in being involved in the refurbishment.
“This is a community building and we have made sure those who use it should have a voice in ensuring it is fit for the future,” continued Mr Blackwell.
“We strongly believe the renovation option represents the best value for money and preserves part of Canvey’s heritage. We want the money we spend to stay in the local community where possible.”