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Community / New Eric Gray centre gets formal launch

Service users with the support of staff members cut the ribbon by the entrance to the new Eric Gray @ Seafield building – (L to R): Craig Tilston, Pauline Moaut, Shona Main, Amanda Kenny, Martin Henderson, Mags Ridland, Kaylee Ann Best and Elsie Sutherland. Photo: SIC

THE NEW Eric Gray Resource Centre was formally launched this morning (22 June) with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Eric Gray@Seafield, which has been open for a number of months, is home for specialist support for adults with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders and complex needs.

Andy Anderson cuts the cake to celebrate the opening as staff members Connie Russell (left), team leader – supported vocational activities, and Teresa Slater, assistant manager, look on. Photo: SIC

The £6 million Shetland Islands Council facility at Seafield in Lerwick was built by DITT and designed by Richard Gibson Architects.

A crowd of around 100 service users, family members, staff and invited guests turned out on Saturday morning to see the building formally launched.

The building will also be open to the public on Saturday 29 June from 2pm-4pm for anyone who wishes to look around the building.

The new facility replaces the old Eric Gray Resource Centre a stone’s throw away on Kantersted Road.

Construction began on the new building in August 2016 and it was completed at the end of 2018, before staff and service users moved into the new premises in January.

Clare Scott (centre, left) welcomes guests to the opening of the new Eric Gray @ Seafield building ahead of the ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo: SIC

Four adults who use the service – Kaylee Ann Best, Martin Henderson, Shona Mair and Craig Tilston – formally opened the centre at a ribbon cutting ceremony, while a fifth user representative – Andy Anderson – cut the celebration cake.

Councillor Cecil Smith, who spoke at the ceremony, said: “This modern, user-friendly building offers many more opportunities to support people who use this service, for them achieve their potential.

“After many years of planning, the opening today is a cause for celebration and I hope that many people will benefit from this new centre for many years to come.”

The architect behind the project was Nick Brett from Richard Gibson Architects, and Mott MacDonald provided structural and building engineering services.

Staff from the council’s assets, commissioning and procurement service provided project management.