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'Community hub' to open at Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre

London SE1 website team

A new 'community hub' is to open in part of the space recently vacated by Tesco at the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre.

'Community hub' to open at Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre

Tesco announced the permanent closure of its Elephant & Castle store in April after a rodent crisis.

Although in latter years the Tesco Metro store was on the ground floor only, the supermarket chain also leased space on the upper level of the shopping centre which previously served as a 'home and wear' department linked by escalator to the grocery area below.

In recent years Tesco had made that space available for community meetings and activities, and now the centre's owners are formalising that arrangement with the opening of a 'community hub'.

Open Monday to Friday, the hub will host free wellness activities, fitness classes and arts & crafts workshops.

Classes will range from Afrobeats dance, chair yoga and over 60s cheerleading to upcycling classes, meditation sessions and salsa lessons.

"We have been working very hard to re-think how we can use the former Tesco store," said Diana Barranco, community director for the developers who own centre.

"We want to provide a place to bring people together through a variety of free activities for all, and the community hub provides the perfect space to do this.

"We are excited we can use it for great initiatives in the area that need it, and welcome other organisations to get in touch if they would like to hold an activity in the Hub and be part of the timetable.

"We look forward to welcoming as many people from the community as possible."

Details will be published at www.elephantandcastle.org.uk/communityhub

• An application for judicial review of Southwark Council's decision to approve the redevelopment of the shopping centre site is due to be heard at the High Court next month.

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