Flooded community centre re-opens after £70,000 revamp
- Credit: Simon Parkin
A community centre at the heart of social life in a South Norfolk village has reopened after being left devastated by flooding.
Banham Community Centre was forced to close in August when a burst water pipe left large parts of the building flooded causing thousands of pounds was damage.
The centre, which was opened by Princess Anne in 1992, hosts a packed programme of events ranging from fitness and dance classes to sports events and live music, but the flood left many of the village's clubs and social groups searching for alternative locations.
After undergoing renovations costing up to £70,000, including the relaying of a new wooden floor in the large main hall, the centre has now reopened its doors.
Roy Stubington, chairman of the community centre committee, said: 'It's been quite a challenging time for some of the local groups that use the centre. And it's caused us a lot of problems because we've had no income. The work has cost something like £60-£70,000, which is a considerable sum.'
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The flood was caused when a water pipe in the kitchen. 'It was behind some kitchen units so until the water started to come out no one could see it,' said Mr Stubington.
'The previous evening it was locked up and everything seemed fine, but when one of our committee members went down to unlock the following morning they were met by this torrent of water coming out of the front door. It was panic stations then trying to get the water turned off, track down where it was coming from and trying to bail the place out.'
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The flood caused extensive damage to the social club bar, main foyer area as well as the centre's large main hall.
Mr Stubington added: 'You would never dream that water could do so much damage. It was terrible to see but thankfully it has now been all dried out and refurbished and is looking very smart again.'
The venue's monthly 1960s dance, which draws people from across the region, will resume on December 1 with music from Mel Stevens, whilst the hall will be transformed into a winter wonderland for a Christmas Fair on November 24.