A ‘LIVELY’ community and youth centre in Bicester has helped bring people from the town closer to a new estate.

Kingsmere Community and Youth Centre, which opened last September, has helped local groups hold meetings and events.

Boasting five separate interior spaces, the centre - which was built by developers Countryside - includes a large sports hall, two board rooms and two multi-purpose rooms used by a variety of local groups.

Among the groups are a Muslim reading group, a musical theatre group called Spotlights, two dance groups, a bridge club and a puppy training school.

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A number of charities also use the facilities including Bicester Baby Bank, which provides unwanted baby items to low-income and vulnerable families within Bicester and beyond.

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Debbie Clack, a trustee of the Bicester Baby Bank praises the centre as being the heart of their operations.

She said: “Having a place like the Kingsmere Community and Youth Centre has been a huge help for the work we do. The flexible and long opening hours means that more people are able to deliver more baby clothes throughout the day, boosting our results massively and maximising our ability to help those who need it most.”

Carla Wilson, one of the Kingsmere Community and Youth Centre Directors, highlights what makes the Centre so special.

She said: “Without a doubt, the variety of different events and activities we host is what sets us apart.

“In addition to hosting common types of groups who might organise an aerobics class, we also host toddler and play groups, martial arts teams, conferences, dance troupes, Women’s Initiative (WI) events and many groups of different religious faiths.

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“Everyone is welcome here and it’s great to see people with different interests and beliefs socialising and sharing experiences.”

One of the developers at Kingsmere, CALA Homes, recently donated an adult and paediatric defibrillator to the centre, making it the first one on the estate.

Although new estates have community centres, a resident in Bicester recently expressed her frustration at the lack of community centres in the town centre, calling for the district Council to re-open the old library in the town centre as a new community space.