WORK is under way on a £10m conference and community centre in Southampton.

A turf-cutting ceremony signalled the start of construction at Eastpoint Centre in Burgoyne Road, in Thornhill.

The centre, due for completion in a year’s time, will be a hub for businesses and communities in the city.

It will boast the latest business conference facilities in a three-storey 3,770 sq m development.

There will also be training space for businesses and meeting rooms for community groups, a social club and a restaurant area.

Councillor Royston Smith, deputy leader of Southampton City Council, said: “This will bring a renewed sense of community and pride to Thornhill and this coupled with the major regeneration work taking place at Hinkler Parade demonstrates the council’s commitment to improving the quality of people’s lives.”

The conference and community centre will be locating within the existing grounds of Eastpoint, which used to be a school but was changed to community use 26 years ago.

Pictured cutting the turf are, from left, Phil Durigan, John Denham MP, Jean Roost and Martin Orr.

Echo pictures by James Newell. Order no: 10683455 (above) and 10683434 (right)