‘DIY SOS’ set to save closed Ravensthorpe play centre

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A children’s play centre in Ravensthorpe which was closed as part of Peterborough City Council cuts could be set to dramatically reopen with the help of popular BBC TV series ‘DIY SOS’.

The Spinney Centre in Hartwell Way, Ravensthorpe, Peterborough, was one of eight children’s centres axed by Peterborough City Council earlier this year as part of the local authority’s bid to cut £17 million from its budget.

The Spinney Children's play centre in Ravensthorpe, which could be set to re-open thanks to the TV series 'DIY SOS'. Photo: David Lowndes

The Spinney Children's play centre in Ravensthorpe, which could be set to re-open thanks to the TV series 'DIY SOS'. Photo: David Lowndes

But now the Peterborough Little Miracles group, which runs sessions for children with disabilities at its centre in Werrington, is bidding to get the Spinney re-opened and move there, with the help of BBC series ‘DIY SOS’.

The popular programme sees presenter Nick Knowles and a team of workmen round up friends, family and local tradesmen to help transform homes and buildings across the country.

Michelle King, chairperson of Little Miracles Peterborough, said talks with BBC producers were ongoing, but it’s hoped that the centre will feature in the programmes’s Children In Need special edition, in September.

Ms King said: “We can’t say too much at the moment, because the whole point of DIY SOS is that it is a surprise. But we’re hopeful that they will come and rebuild the centre, so it can be saved.

“If it doesn’t happen then the building would need £97,000 of repairs. This project is crucial to saving a valuable community facility.”

Ms King said that if the project is successful, the Little Miracles group will move to the Spinney and help to run the venue six days a week.

She added: “We plan to run lots of sessions for the community and also get a youth club and a football club going. It’s a community facility, we want as many people in the local area to benefit from it as possible.”

Can Do Communities

Meanwhile, another children’s centre which was closed as part of the council cuts is also set to re-open.

Peterborough-based charity Can Do Communities has confirmed that it is in talks with the council about taking over Thistle Drive play centre in Stanground.

Marvin Symes, director of Can Do Communities, said: “We have been given the green light by the council to keep the centre open as a community hub and widen the activities to include professionally run gymnastics classes and a start-up nursery on site as core tenants. The rest of the spaces will be for hire by anyone in the community for meetings and other activities.”

In June it was revealed that the Copeland Community Association is bidding to re-open the Copeland children’s centre in Bretton.

The Little Owls Nursery, which is set to run at the re-opened Thistle Drive centre is appealing for youngsters to join from September.

Parents can call Marvin Symes on 07910 276193.