Foxhall Community Centre in grounds of disused St Clement’s Hospital in Ipswich is open to all

The Foxhall Community Centre team. L-R Nikki Coe, Ann Barber (manager), Natalie Hix, Anna Cook (leas

The Foxhall Community Centre team. L-R Nikki Coe, Ann Barber (manager), Natalie Hix, Anna Cook (lease holder) and Jo Barber. - Credit: Archant

After saving it from closure three years ago, Anna Cook is determined to see Foxhall Community Centre prosper.

There are regular Zumba classes at Foxhall Community Centre.

There are regular Zumba classes at Foxhall Community Centre. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Tucked away at the back of the disused St Clement’s Hospital in Ipswich, the venue is often overlooked by passers-by.

But leaseholder Ms Cook wants visitors to know the centre is open to all and is fit with a bar, pool table, dartboard, conference room, children’s play area, a function room and even a squash court.

“We have been trying to make it a place for everyone to enjoy,” Ms Cook said. “I just want people to use it.

“There are a lot of people who come up here who can remember coming up here when they were kids and I would love people in 10 years’ time to remember it from when they were kids.”

Three years ago the centre was set to close when the previous leaseholder, who ran the site for 30 years, retired.

Ms Cook had been hiring out the venue for around 15 years for dance classes, so when she heard it was under threat she stepped in with a former business partner to take it on.

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“The amount of people who don’t know we are here or think we are a members only club,” she said. “Because there is a lot of building work at the front I think people don’t realise that we are here. They drive on and think it’s a building site.

“There is still so much we want to do here in refurbishing it but we need people to use it. The team I have got are fantastic. They work hard along with me to keep the place going.”

The centre is home to Joker’s Comedy Club, a car boot on Sundays and it also hosts various fitness classes and community groups. In the future Ms Cook hopes to have music and beer festivals at the venue.

The community centre can be contacted on 01473 712544, via Facebook or at www.foxhallcommunitycentre.co.uk

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