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James West Centre to Celebrate 5 Years as Asset to Community

Community, Council News & Services

James West Community Centre building exterior 

The James West Community Centre will celebrate five years since it first launched and opened to the public in 2018 at a gathering that will be held at the centre on Saturday 15th July.

A valuable asset to the local community, the centre, located in Brunel Drive in north Hailsham, currently has a wide range of local groups and people of all ages using the space and facilities on a regular basis.

The provision of a community hall and sports facility was made as part of the initial planning agreement between Hailsham Town Council and Welbury Farm developer Taylor Wimpey in 2018 and has since become an integral part of the local community for people to socialise, stay fit and take part in various activities.

At the gathering, the Mayor of Hailsham, Cllr Paul Holbrook, will join town councillors, staff and Pat Hayes, daughter of the late James West after whom the centre was named, for a short tour of the facility and light refreshments.

James West, founder and Chairman of the Hailsham & District Sports Alliance (now Hailsham Active) who passed away in November 2016, was a much-loved chairman, coach and grandfather who devoted more than 40 years to the Hailsham Table Tennis Club before becoming president of the Alliance.

“Over the last five years, the James West Community Centre has been on quite a journey,” said Deputy Town Clerk & Business Enterprise Manager, Mickey Caira. “The centre has played host to sports training sessions and tournaments, wellness workshops, keep fit classes and more – even baby ballet classes!”

“Apart from the centre being closed for much of 2020 and 2021, which was a trying period for us all on with national lockdowns and restrictions in place, the centre has attracted a good membership base and sees a lot of visits a year, although there are openings for other local clubs and groups to benefit from using the facility.”

“Since opening, this purpose-built centre has already begun to play a key role in enabling Hailsham to fulfil its potential as a vibrant and inclusive town and we hope it continues to be a popular community hub, offering a range of activities for local residents.”

The Centre consists of an 18m x 11.7m hall, able to accommodate an audience of around 200 seated, in addition to two meeting rooms. The facility also includes a modern kitchen, storerooms, toilets, changing rooms and a P.A. system.

Hirers are able to use the James West Community Centre for social clubs and activities, sports and games, dancing and exercise, pre-school and toddler groups, craft exhibits, after-school clubs, family functions, quiz nights and fundraising events, as well as seminars, conferences, business meetings and public consultation events.

Current regular hirers include Hailsham Table Tennis Club, Monday Youth Hub, Hailsham Active, Hailsham Voices Pop Choir, FLexercise, Elements Yoga, PW Performers and Baby Ballet. The centre also hosts meetings provided by the AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and Hailsham Parkinsons Society.

The Town Council also operated a warm bank facility at the centre during the recent winter months to help residents who are struggling to pay their heating bills amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Town Clerk John Harrison commented: “The James West Community Centre has made such a difference in terms of enabling different groups and organisations to work seamlessly in partnership with the community in Hailsham. The aim of the facility is to bring everyone together in one convenient place for local people, along with decent meeting spaces for local groups.”

“I’m delighted that the centre has had a good first five years with the different groups and services working together to provide a high-quality facility for local people, and has become such a positive asset to the town.”

For further information or to make a booking, contact Hailsham Town Council on 01323 841702 or by email.

Enquiries relating to this media release

Terry Hall, Communications Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: