Welcome to new ‘hub’ for town

Rawmarsh Customer service centre, on Barbers Avenue. Picture: Marie Caley S0112MC
Rawmarsh Customer service centre, on Barbers Avenue. Picture: Marie Caley S0112MC

A LONG-awaited new customer service centre opened at Rawmarsh this week, offering residents a one-stop shop for their health and council needs.

But just prior to that, Times photographer Marie Caley was there to take a sneak peek at a special preview day for the community.

It is 16 months since work began on the creation of the Barbers Avenue facility. It took a little longer than expected to reach fruition but is welcomed by locals, who were keen to glimpse the building’s interior. Its modern, airy design got the thumbs-up from its first visitors, who could have been there to pay bills, book a doctor’s appointment, browse books or use computers with free internet access in the open-plan library.

Some 4,000 patients will attend the health centre, while others will use the customer service side run by the council to get information or advice, apply for services, report problems and pay council tax or housing rents.

The £5 million community hub also has changing rooms for sportsmen and women using the playing field and pitches at the back. It is the result of a joint collaboration between NHS Rotherham and Rotherham Council, whose vision was made reality by Henry Boot Construction Ltd.

Split over two floors, it has the library, sports changing facilities and health services on the ground, with a community meeting room and council staff accommodation above.

Health services such as physiotherapy, midwifery, podiatry and speech therapy will all be available within the building too.

Duncan Smales, head of capital and estates at NHS Rotherham, said: “We really hope that the building will become the hub of the community,” and Rachel O’Neil, customer access client officer at Rotherham Council, said: “This is another great example of partnership working. We’ve already seen the benefits of our customer service centres being located along with other services so we’re pleased to be bringing this new facility to Rawmarsh.”