Sir George Young opened the Spring Meadow Sure Start Children's Centre in Smannell Road in Andover - one of 81 children's centres being created across the county by Hampshire County Council, with funding from the Government's Sure Start programme.
"The building has been transformed from its last use as Shepherds Spring School, and it is a light, bright and welcoming building. Many thanks to Paul Coombs from Mansells, who led the building programme, and also to Colin Henry and his team at Hampshire County Council's Architects Department".
"Tina Monaghan, the Centre Manager and her team have already made an impact, in reaching out to children and families on the estates surrounding the centre, and helping improve their quality of life".
Among many of the services and activities on offer at Spring Meadow are a day care nursery, run by Audrey Wilson, a club for dads and their children, Childminders Stay and Play drop-in sessions, a Well Baby Clinic for 0-4 year olds, and a drop-in group for Forces' families.
At the beginning of the free Family Fun Day to mark the opening, the Mayor of Test Valley, Cllr Chris Lynn welcomed everyone to the building and Sir George formally cut the ribbon at 12.30pm. Afterwards, Joseph Levy sang some songs, and during the morning the drums at the centre were put to good use.
During his opening remarks, Sir George paid tribute to David Kirk, the Executive Member for Children's Services, who was one of the driving forces behind the centre and flowers were presented to his widow, Tracey Kirk, who attended. Also present was County Cllr Pat West, one of the town's representatives at Hampshire County Council. Flowers were also presented to Sue Payne, the Finance Officer, who made many of the arrangements for the day.
(Photos with thanks to Garry Seymour of Seymour Photos)