WORK will begin on the site of Halstead’s long-awaited community centre this year, trustees have pledged.

Concerns have been raised over the £2.7 million project following a lack of activity so far on the proposed site on Butler Road.

However, trustees insist there has been a hive of background work and they are now in a position to take the next steps forward. Contamination issues have caused several delays putting a halt to progress on the proposed land.

But the trustees are assuring residents this is just a temporary set-back.

Contractors are being assessed to remove the contamination, then it will be full steam ahead with construction work for Halstead’s long awaited community hub.

Substantial funding has been secured already, and the trustees are continuing to actively explore national and local funding to both contribute to the building work and secure a self-sustaining future for the centre.

In early 2016 the Butler Road site was officially handed over to the Halstead Community Centre Charitable Company, after planning permission was granted in July 2015.

The aim is for the community centre to house the town’s museum, council offices, library and meeting rooms, as well as space which can be used by community groups.

The community centre was discussed at length by Halstead Town Council at an extraordinary full council meeting on February 25.

The town council said the community centre was a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the town, but have concerns as to whether it will be too expensive for the town council to run.

The council had hoped to be based at the centre, but this will not be possible until 2022.