Celebration to mark completion of Acacia IGC

Merton Council is calling on residents to help celebrate the opening of Merton’s first adventure playground, and the completion of the Acacia Intergenerational Centre, at a community fun day on Tuesday 26 October.

The community celebration is open to Merton residents of all ages and will kick off from 11am at the centre on Grove Road in Mitcham. Activities will offer something for everyone, including ballroom and Latin dancing sessions, gardening, adventure play, drama, live music, street dance, healthy snack making, children’s activities and much more.

The Acacia Intergenerational Centre is the first purpose built intergenerational centre in the country and boasts a children’s centre, a staffed adventure playground with indoor and outdoor play spaces, space for activities and community gardens. It aims to provide a range of shared services and facilities under one roof for older people, children and young people across the borough.

Councillor Maxi Martin, cabinet member for children’s services at Merton Council said: “Since the centre opened in February, we’ve seen people of all ages and backgrounds take part in a wide range of activities that are now on offer at the centre.

“The adventure playground is the first of its kind for Merton and will offer many joyful and memorable experiences to the borough’s families for years to come. I hope residents from all over the borough will join us to celebrate its completion and to see for themselves just how fantastic these facilities really are.”

Merton was chosen to be the site of the country’s first purpose built state of the art intergenerational centre following support from the London Development Agency, combined with money from central government and funding from Merton Council. Its aim is to provide a range of shared services and facilities under one roof, which will bring together young and old, as individuals, groups and families.

Colin Jones, Director Youth and Volunteering at London Development Agency, said: ‘”We’re pleased to have invested £1.5million in the development of this centre which aims to provide a shared resource for people of all ages in the local community to access services and participate together in learning and leisure activities. We hope the centre will provide a model for other boroughs seeking to invest in intergenerational services.”

The celebration will be held on Tuesday 26 October 2010 from 11am to 3pm Acacia Intergenerational Centre, 230 Grove Road, Mitcham, CR4 1SD. For more information call 020 8274 5121 or visit http://www.merton.gov.uk/igc

Notes to the editor:

The centre was funded by the London Development Agency, the government’s SureStart Children’s Centres and Playbuilder programmes, and Merton Council.

The London Development Agency (LDA) works to improve the quality of life for all Londoners, drive sustainable economic growth and keep the capital competitive. Its role is to bring together the right people, skills and resources to deliver real results in the long term, responding to the needs and ambitions of communities and businesses. The LDA invests more than £400 million a year to create jobs and develop healthy, sustainable communities. It also supports London as a financial, educational and research centre. It tackles the barriers to employment for certain groups, encourages business and cultural activities and improves infrastructure and the environment. The LDA takes on major projects and difficult issues and is constantly looking for fresh ways of doing things and better ways of achieving sustainable growth. In this way the LDA ensures all Londoners can gain from and contribute to London’s economic success.