DEMOLITION work has begun in preparation for the new Shoreham Centre extension.
The former Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) offices next to the centre, in Pond Road, are being taken down this week as the project gets underway.
Adur Council leader Neil Parkin said he was delighted work had finally begun on creating the council’s new civic presence to replace the Civic Centre, in Ham Road.
Clare Mannsaker, business development manager for central and south Sussex Citizens Advice Bureau, added: “It has been mixed feelings as we say goodbye to the place, as we had been here for over 30 years and we saw lots of clients pass through the doors and helped lots and lots of people.
“But for a long time it hadn’t been fit for what we needed it for. So, we are delighted and very, very thankful to Adur District Council for providing something new and comfortable to welcome our clients to.”
Andrew Gardiner, the council’s strategic director, has been dealing with this project from the start.
He explained: “It goes back probably two years, when we were considering doing a piece of partnership work across the road, with the health authority and the county council.
“Due to various unavoidable delays, we just decided to go it alone and this is the starting of a very impressive project, bringing CAB and other voluntary organisations into the centre.”
It is expected building work will begin at the end of May and the aim is to open the new centre in spring 2015.
The new extension will provide a secure, shared space for the council and CAB on the ground floor, to include family and one-to-one meeting rooms, hot desks, a kitchen and toilets.
There will be a new entrance from the car park and separate reception areas for both the council and CAB.
The council’s Help Point will be manned by the council during office hours and the Shoreham Centre, when needed, out of hours.
A new centre manager’s office is included and the bar in the main hall is being moved, so it is accessible from the new foyer atrium, as well as the hall.
On the first floor, there will be a new, large flexible space, offering a council meeting room, storage, chairman’s meeting room and hot desks.
Rooms for charities 4SIGHT and Adur Talking News, including a kitchenette, are also provided, for when they move out of the Civic Centre.