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What does the future hold for this disused former children's centre?

PUBLISHED: 06:00 21 November 2019

The old Sure Start children's centre on London Road, Dereham, which closed alongside 37 others after sweeping changes were made by Norfolk County Council. Picture: Google Maps

The old Sure Start children's centre on London Road, Dereham, which closed alongside 37 others after sweeping changes were made by Norfolk County Council. Picture: Google Maps

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Options are being explored for the future of a children's centre closed as part of sweeping changes to services in Norfolk.

Campaigners protesting against the closure of Norfolk's children's centres outside County Hall, October 2018. Picture: Denise BradleyCampaigners protesting against the closure of Norfolk's children's centres outside County Hall, October 2018. Picture: Denise Bradley

In January it was revealed Norfolk County Council (NCC) had made the controversial decision to close 38 of the 53 children's centres in the county, including Dereham Central and Dereham South Children's Centres, both based at the Sure Start building on London Road.

Its doors closed for the final time at the end of September and the property remains unoccupied.

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As parents in Dereham adjust to life without a children's centre, NCC says efforts are being made to repurpose the sizeable community facility.

Sara Tough, director of children services at Norfolk County Council, said the closure of children's centres was focused on saving money. Picture: Norfolk County CouncilSara Tough, director of children services at Norfolk County Council, said the closure of children's centres was focused on saving money. Picture: Norfolk County Council

A spokesman said: "Our new service is focused on providing support to those who need it most and ensuring there is outreach support available across Norfolk communities.

"The London Road building is not being used as a base for the new service, but those living in and near Dereham can continue to access a range of services from other community buildings, or in their homes and online.

"We are currently exploring options for the site."

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