Breaking new ground for Olympic legacy

published on 7 Mar 2014

Exciting times are afoot in Hadleigh, Essex, as we broke the ground for the new Hub at the 2012 Olympic Mountain Bike site on the same day as our successful bid for funding from the Coastal Communities Fund to support our programme was announced.

The Essex legacy team hosted the ground-breaking event as building work starts on the Hub. Essex County Council in partnership with The Salvation Army, Southend-on-Sea and Castlepoint Borough Councils are providing new and improved recreational trails and visitor facilities on land at Hadleigh Farm and Country Park to ensure Essex makes the most of this incredible Olympic venue post 2012.

The Hub will be the first point of call for visitors and will host a café, bike shop, bike workshop, ranger’s offices and a multi-use classroom. There will be a 400-space car park ensuring easy access for guests, as well as a new outside children’s play area and outdoor seating.

Left to right: Councillor Ann Naylor (Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing), Essex County Council; Divisional Director for Community Services Beverley Egan (London North-East), Councillor Jill Reeves (councillor for Hadleigh Division, Essex County Council); Major Margaret Ord (Divisional Director for Women's Ministries, London North-East); and Councillor Pam Challis OBE (leader of Castle Point Borough Council)

The Salvation Army will manage the Hub’s café and Family Resource Centre, which will be an extension of the excellent programme delivered at the tearooms and training centre for adults (trainees) with learning difficulties.

London North-East Director for Community Services Mrs Beverley Egan said: “The ground-breaking ceremony marks the next milestone in our Olympic legacy and the continuing strong working partnership between Essex County Council and The Salvation Army.

“The Salvation Army will be continuing to work to remove barriers disadvantaged people face in gaining employment as well as contributing to the area by providing a first-class tourist attraction. We are looking forward to what this development will bring to the community.”

Trainees study a range of vocations from estate management, catering, hospitality, media communications and much more. Due to the nature of their special education needs, season casual work or work experience is often the first step to gaining full-time employment.

The new facilities will accommodate the increase in seasonal visitors and with links to the training centre will ensure trainees are signposted to job opportunities appropriate to their skill level and experience. The resource centre will support targeted groups and their families to aspire to seek employment, become more skilled and identify other suitable job opportunities.

It is estimated the Hub will take around fifty to sixty weeks to finish - with work carried out by Morgan Sindal.