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Community centre first step in wider revival

New Acheson Avenue community centre first step in wider revival

Shirley residents are being asked to a meeting on 13 September to celebrate the launch of a new community centre on Acheson Avenue and to discuss the area's development.

David Coom, the Christchurch City Council community services team leader, says the centre, at 25 Acheson Avenue, is a concrete step in the area's revitalisation.

"The Acheson Avenue Community Services Centre's going to be a one-stop shop for government agencies to provide services locally," Mr Coom says. "Its launch is a chance to let the local community know about the services offered by these agencies and provide a springboard to get a community process underway for the revitalisation of the area."

Based at the centre will be the Police community constable and staff representing the District Truancy Service, Housing New Zealand and Actionworks (a youth employment partnership between Canterbury Development Corporation, the Council's economic development arm, and Work and Income). The City Council has leased the building and the centre's development will be done in stages as funding permits.

As well as setting up the community centre, the Acheson Avenue Urban Renewal Project includes the proposed upgrade of MacFarlane Park and developing the area's recreation and leisure opportunities. Mr Coom says that the next step will be setting up a group to work on these projects to help identify any other future projects. "Any successful process to renew an urban area relies on different agencies and groups within the community working together. Any interested residents are welcome to join the group and we'll be asking for people to register their interest at the launch."

The group will first develop a charter and establish the community's aims and aspirations. "It will also help the City Council to develop a process and method appropriate for consulting with the wider community as the renewal project develops," says Mr Coom.

? The 13 September meeting is at 5pm, at St Stephens Church on the corner of Emmett Street and Shirley Road. Supper will be provided. For more information call community development advisor Bruce Meder on 941 5408.

? Information about Actionworks is at www.cdc.org.nz/main/actionworks

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