COMMUNITY leaders were treated to a sneak peak at work on Tolladine's new £500,000 Tolly Centre.

Worcester MP Mike Foster and the vicar of Christ Church, Father Nduna Mpunzi, were among those given a guided tour yesterday.

The eagerly anticipated centre will be three time larger than the previous community centre it replaces on Rose Avenue.

The Tolly Centre, a name chosen by residents, has been under construction since the autumn, and combines parts of the old building with newly constructed rooms.

A total of £400,000 was provided by Sure Start, £25,000 came from the Urban Church Fund and £15,000 was raised by the community itself. The rest of the money came from various church applications for funding.

The centre will be officially opened on Saturday, July 9.

"It's good to see so many people from this community have been involved from the start," said Mike Foster.

It will be an important facility for the community, and it shows the Government is investing in community projects.

The Sure Start Project manager for Worcester, Ian Craigan, hailed the project as "long overdue".

"It has been an aspiration for a number of years, and the community has been very much involved in this regeneration," he said.

The centre will have facilities for babies and toddlers, as well as a youth wing for older youngsters.

But community worker Allan Poyner stressed the centre was for use by everyone.

"It will serve people from the cradle to the grave - and everyone will be very welcome," he said.

The stage, which hosted popular fashion shows, will be retained.

Christ Church, Tolladine's community chapel within the centre has also been revamped. It will resume normal service when the centre opens on schedule in April.