When I spoke to Ben North – Operations Director at Dockland Settlements – he was upbeat about the new Centre sited between Rotherhithe Street and Salter Road near Surrey Docks Farm and the Ship York. After years facing subsidence and with activities restricted for practical reasons, the redevelopment of the site is now well underway. Indeed the whole project was scheduled to complete by February this year. Unfortunately due to bad weather over the winter, whilst the Centre is nearly complete, the flats and houses that Family Mosaic Housing are building on two sides of the site are not ready yet. Ben says on current estimates, they should be ready to commission the Centre in late September or early October. And news just in of their new address: 400 Salter Road SE16 5AA

Whilst the timing of the Centre’s opening has been pushed back, the planning for activities there has been moving forward. Ben is hoping to finalise details of a full programme for the building in the next few months but he runs off a string of exciting sport and leisure activities to come. Southwark Youth Department will be running a youth club three nights a week from the Centre and a partnership with Millwall FC will offer football coaching for kids as well as for adults with disabilities. The Dockland Junior team will benefit from the coaching of Jamie Mehmet won one of 150 special FA anniversary awards. Kings College London are in discussion with Ben over using the facilities for student sports. Alongside other sports sessions such as karate, kick boxing and aikido, Ben expects to offer yoga and tai chi classes too.

Nearly ready to go - the new Centre is close to completion

Nearly ready to go – the new Centre is close to completion

Beyond the focus on sports, the Centre will hold a regular art class for adults together with French language classes and sessions in floristry. A mums and toddlers club is planned and a lunch club for older residents too. Ben is talking with the National Autistic Society’s Southwark branch about a club for people with autism and their carers. All together the Centre is set to bring a rich and varied mix of activities and sports to Surrey Docks.

If you want to know more, please contact Ben North, Operations Director for Dockland Settlements T: 020 8534 4121 or E: ben.north@docklandsettlements.org.uk