A LONG-AWAITED community centre for the people of Wycombe Marsh is almost complete, with a call going out to residents to submit ideas and help run the new building.

The Wrights Meadow Centre on Wrights Meadow Road is due for its grand opening next week, after a seven-year project to provide a meeting and social space for the area’s growing population.

And three of the key figures in the realisation of the £600,000 scheme, Cllrs Paula Lee, Ray Farmer and Trevor Snaith, are appealing for volunteers and ideas about how to use the new resource.

Cllr Snaith, a centre trustee, said: “On September 5 we will be open from 2.30pm to 7pm for the public to come in and have a look round. We’re asking them to tell us what they want in here and want events they want to see.

“This is the result of years of hard work from councillors, the community, churches, Wycombe District Council, the lot. You hear a lot of negative stories but this really is a good news story for the area.

“Please, please come along, have a look and tell us what you want from it when it’s up and running. From our point of view, it’s wonderful and the best thing to happen to the Wycombe Marsh area in a long time.”

The centre is a joint project between the Trades and Social Club and the Heart of Ryemead Community Association.

It was funded using cash from sale of the old Trades and Social Club on Queens Road, along with grants, donations and a large slice from developers’ Section 106 community contributions.

Complete with two function rooms - one for members - a fully fitted bar, kitchen, large car park and offices, trustees hope the new centre will be used by all sections of the community.

Approaches have already been made for bingo nights, fitness classes and mother and baby groups, with public meetings also due to be held in the community building.

And Cllr Paula Lee, who helped negotiate to secure the land for free from housing developer St James, said she hopes both new and existing residents will get involved in the running of the centre.

She said: “We’re looking for people to come forward and be on the committee, especially some new faces.

“There is a lot of house building around here, and so a lot of new residents and families that will want to use the building and we hope they will want to get involved.”

Lesley Clarke, WDC chairman, will officially open The Wrights Meadow Centre on September 5. The opening time is yet to be confirmed.