Official opening for Dee Park’s relocated neighbourhood office and community café  

Kit Oates Photography

Dee Park’s neighbourhood offices and community café are moving to Spey Road as part of the latest phase of the estate’s £150 million regeneration.

The neighbourhood offices and café are relocating from Lyon Square, which will be demolished in the spring to make way for 28 social rent flats, 10 shared ownership houses and 20 houses, including townhouses for private sale.

The new facilities on Spey Road will join the recently opened convenience store, newsagent  and Oak Tree House – an extra care housing scheme of 60 self-contained flats and communal facilities.

Reading Borough Council and Catalyst Housing Limited will share the new office space. Council support services – regular surgeries on housing issues, anti-social behaviour and debt advice as well as a phone line that residents can use to contact the Council – will continue from the new location. Catalyst Customer Services and the CAB appointment-based outreach service for Catalyst residents will also be available at the new office.

Coffee Couture will be located next door and is managed by The Pride of Dee Park community group. A social enterprise working for the benefit of local residents, all the café’s profits are invested back into Dee Park, with a particular focus on helping the area’s children and young people.

Cllr Jo Lovelock, Leader of Reading Borough Council and Chair of the Dee Park Project Board said:

“Both the neighbourhood office and Coffee Couture play an important role in the regeneration as centres for advice, support and community life, and I am delighted to see them relocate to new facilities on Spey Road. This is a key milestone in the regeneration – not only will it mean improved facilities but it paves the way for the demolition of Lyon Square and the next phase of the Dee Park Project.”

Rod Cahill, Chief Executive at Catalyst Housing:

“Catalyst is proud to be part of the Dee Park Partnership, and to be working with Reading Borough Council and Willmott Dixon to make positive changes to the neighbourhood. The Lyon Square shops and offices were unattractive and hidden away, and we are looking forward to providing local services to our residents and the wider community.

The Pride of Dee Park and those involved with Coffee Couture are a great asset to the community. Their work has already had a positive impact on the lives of those living at Dee Park, and in this new location, I am sure that Coffee Couture will go from strength to strength.

Kirsty Daniel from Pride of Dee Park added:

“We are really looking forward to the opening of the new café which will have a wonderful new menu and some brilliant new equipment to try out our cake and pudding making skills.”

The youth service and police office will also be moving to a new temporary facility near Thurso Close before the demolition of Lyon Square begins.

The £150 million eight year project to transform Dee Park started in spring 2010 and is being led by the Dee Park Partnership, a joint venture between Willmott Dixon and Catalyst Housing, in partnership with Reading Borough Council.