A NEW £3.5million community facility is gearing up for its grand opening.

The Lowford Centre, in Bursledon, is already up and running but will celebrate its official opening with a day of family activities.

The centre comprises of the Bursledon GP Surgery, Bursledon Community Centre, Bursledon Parish Council and Lowford Community Library.

Work by the council’s construction partner Mansell was funded by Eastleigh Borough Council using developers’ contributions, capital receipts and the New Homes Bonus.

The council aimed to improve the existing facilities in the area and find a solution to the need to relocate Bursledon Surgery.

Planning was approved in late 2011 following two public consultations.

The project includes a new, self-service library and parish officer and a new doctors’ surgery with more car parking.

The building has three different sized halls, which can seat 40, 100 and 150 people and the largest has a sprung floor to suit dance classes and fitness classes. Nearby Bursledon Brickworks has produced a tile mosaic for the new development and 500 local residents have contributed to this.

The new GP practice opened to patients last month and the community centre, parish office and library opened last week.

Council bosses will celebrate the opening of the new facilities on Saturday, from 12pm until 3pm with a range of activities and demonstrations from user groups.

There will be storytelling in the library, arts and crafts in the halls and a mobile farm in the community centre garden.

Local community groups and organisations, including a dance school and health and fitness classes, have already signed up to use the facilities and discussions are ongoing with a range of other organisations and residents.

Anyone interested in booking the facilities at the centre or wanting more details can call 023 8040 2234.