FINAL preparations for the Marlborough Community and Youth Centre have been boosted by grants of over £25,000, one week ahead of its grand re-opening.

Retirement living group McCarthy and Stone has donated £15,000, which includes £10,000 worth of new equipment and a £5,000 cash donation.

The new centre has also received a National Lottery Awards for All grant of £9,011 which will ensure that the final details, such as the installation of basketball hoops and kitchen equipment can be fitted ahead of the December 15 launch.

McCarthy and Stone is currently building Canning Place, a 27 apartment complex on Granham Hill, and has also announced plans to work with the council to launch an older persons’ club at the community centre in a bid to tackle loneliness.

Mayor Mervyn Hall, who was at the centre today helping to unpack items donated by McCarthy and Stone including 600 kitchen items and a Smart TV, said: “Our fundraising has been very successful which has enabled us to keep the cost burden off of tax payers.

“We were aware of McCarthy and Stone’s project in the town so we got in touch with them and they were glad to help.

"They have donated sports equipment, given a cheque for £5,000 and have discussed sponsoring a club for older people which we will be talking about in January. The community centre will be for all ages.

“We are on track for the opening and we still have some equipment to go in. "There is a sports court mapped out in the main area and we are going to fit some basketball hoops. This hall will also be used for badminton, volley ball, table tennis and possibly bowls.”

Shane Paull, regional managing director for McCarthy and Stone, said:

“This is about being able to secure the long term future of the centre in Marlborough so that younger generations can benefit. We are also looking at ways we can work together to provide more support for older people in the town, because we know loneliness is a huge problem in later life and something we’re keen to help with in order to reduce this.”

Marlborough Town Council saved the building from closure in June by signing a seven year lease on the building. Since then the hall has been transformed into a place where youth and community groups will soon be able to go to sports and social activities.

The Christmas themed grand opening of the Marlborough Community and Youth Centre will take place from 5pm on December 15 at the hall on St Margaret’s Mead.