Works on new community centre nearing completion

Simpson Hilder Associates' design for the new Samuel Wickens Centre
Simpson Hilder Associates' design for the new Samuel Wickens Centre

Major renovation works to create a new community centre for Rustington are close to completion.

Rustington Parish Council expects the work on the Samuel Wickens Centre, in Broadmark Lane, to be completed by the end of the month.

The centre will be the new home for Rustington Museum and the Village Information Centre.

The building, the former WRVS base in the car park behind Waitrose, will be handed over on a ten-year lease to the Parish Council.

Included is a hireable community venue to replace The Garden Room, at the rear of the existing museum.

Nicky Rowbotham, administrative assistant at Rustington Parish Council, said: “It is hoped that the hireable community facility in the centre will, in the future, be available for local groups, clubs and organisations, and there will be a number of drop-in tea and coffee mornings, managed by volunteers, for the benefit of the local community.”

The council says the centre will provide much-improved facilities for the village, enabling people to gather and socialise in an ‘aesthetically pleasing and welcoming environment’, and will be cost-effective, benefiting parishioners.

A professional museum consultant and designer are preparing a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant to provide the necessary equipment and furniture for the new museum.

Rustington Museum, The Garden Room and all associated land, are on the market for sale.

The information centre is expected to open in April or May, and will be open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

The community facility in the centre will also be available to hire from that time.

The opening of the museum is likely to be later in the year, with the same opening hours, but until it is moved to the new building, the museum will remain open at its current location in Church Farm Cottage, The Street.

Rustington Heritage Association ise involved with the new museum premises to ensure the space will not only continue to ‘portray and protect’ the village’s heritage but will also be able to be enhanced further with additional displays.

For further information about the new centre, contact the council offices on 01903 786420 or email