A MUCH-loved community centre described as a “lifeline for the elderly” will be re-opened “as soon as possible” under the new Tory regime in Basildon.

The Laindon Community Centre, on Aston Road, was closed last year by the Labour-led administration due to concerns over the condition of the building.

Tory leaders have now revealed officers are working to re-open the centre but substantial work will be needed.

The centre features a bar, a gym, outdoor spaces, and is used for events.

It has been described as a “lifeline for the elderly”, and those who use the centre, community groups and organisations, consistently praise the “family atmosphere.”


Brian Clark, a member of the save the Laindon community centre, said: “It’s a massive boost to the community, especially as we can start to see each other again.

“It’s all well and good talking virtually, but seeing someone face to face is crucial.

“It will most likely to be a phased opening. The clubs should be able to get in their quite early.

“I think we’re starting from scratch.

“I don’t think anything is inside, I think it’s all tables and chairs have been taken out.

“Once we get inside, a roadmap for the opening can be formalised.”

The future of the centre was still up in the air moving into 2021, with fears the centre would have been demolished.

A save the Laindon community centre campaign was launched earlier this year in a bid to protect its status as a community facility, along with keeping the bar inside.

More than 1,000 residents signed a petition to keep it.

Andrew Baggott, who is set to become council leader, said: “We will deliver on candidate pledges.

“A lot of these focussed on the Laindon community centre.

“We will open it, and officers are already on the case.

“We’ll then listen to what the community want to happen to it, then take it from there.”

Basildon’s Tories will review the Basildon masterplan for the town centre, and scrap the £8.4million youth zone. Both were agreed by the former Labour-led administration.