Leicester

Centre opened to boost community spirit in Barwell

A £2m community centre has been opened in part of Leicestershire that has been blighted by anti-social behaviour.

Fiona Pilkington, 38, killed herself and her daughter Francecca Hardwick, 18, after years of abuse from a gang in Bardon Road, Barwell.

The county council said it is hoped the George Ward Centre will improve community spirit within the village.

It includes a sports hall, community space, library, kitchen and five meeting rooms.

The centre has been funded by the sale of The Cedars, a house which was gifted to the village by local businessman and politician George Ward, who died in 1951.

David Parsons, leader of the county council, said: "Barwell has had its challenges, but this centre is all about bringing new opportunities to the area - whether you are a young person who wants to play sport or a community group who needs rooms to meet in.

"The newly refurbished library with computers offering internet access and the kitchen and café area will also give everyone in the local community much deserved new facilities which I am sure will benefit everyone in the area."

Mathew Hulbert, chairman of the George Ward Community Project, said: "I hope our wonderful new centre will be used by people of all ages across our community, and that they will come to see it as a local focal point.

"After a couple of difficult years for Barwell, I hope this centre acts as a beacon of light and can be used as a spur for further regeneration here."

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