Community groups made homeless by refurb

COMMUNITY groups will have to be re-housed as a multi-million pound cash boost will close a popular community centre. The Ripple Road Community Hall, St Erkenwald Road, Barking, which is home to a number of organisations and voluntary groups, has secured

COMMUNITY groups will have to be re-housed as a multi-million pound cash boost will close a popular community centre.

The Ripple Road Community Hall, St Erkenwald Road, Barking, which is home to a number of organisations and voluntary groups, has secured a �3million cash grant for a massive makeover.

The groups will have to find alternative venues until mid June, when the centre will close for refurbishment.

Ken Morum, who runs a weekly line dancing group at the centre, is worried about the future of his group, as he may have to re-arrange other dance groups he runs at the Seabrook Centre.


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He said: "Most of the groups won't be able to exist if they can't find anywhere else for us."

However, a council spokesperson said: "The council will be working hard with voluntary and community organisations currently using Ripple Hall, seeking to find them alternative premises.

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"Officers have already made contact with each group and the work is ongoing."

The revamp will create a new office space, meeting rooms, training space, an improved lift and a community caf�.

The building will also benefit from a two-storey extension.

Once the refurbishment has been completed by September 2010, the council will transfer its ownership of the buildings to the Barking and Dagenham Council for Voluntary Services under a 25-year lease.

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