A YOUNG Diggle policewoman who died in the call of duty is to have a newly-reopened Greenfield community centre named in her memory.
The Satellite Centre on Wellington Road closed in 2015 after youth provision there was ended as part of £35million savings by Oldham Council.
Now, a new board of trustees has signed a one-year lease to operate the centre and it will be renamed the Nicola Hughes Satellite Centre at an official re-opening ceremony in October.
On hearing about the cutbacks, Greenfield and Grasscroft Residents Association (GGRA) campaiged with youth group YOLO to keep the centre open.
They came together with Saddleworth Rotary Club, local sports groups, Saddleworth Parish Council and other local organisations to form the group of trustees named the Saddleworth Sports, Youth and Community Association (SSYCA).
They celebrated the re-opening at an event in September with special guests including MP Debbie Abrahams, Mayor and Mayoress of Oldham Derek and Di Heffernan, Parish Council chairman Cllr Pam Byrne, local police, and the public.
Richard Bartlett, chair of SSYCA, explained: “Rotary heard the centre was going to close and the impact that would have and we were quite devastated.
“Rob Knotts, a Rotarian and Parish Councillor, gathered together some information and we realised it wasn’t something Rotary could do alone.
“Along with other organisations and clubs, we formed a group of trustees and worked on it for about a year. We’re really pleased to be opening up the centre to the community once more.
“We want a centre for everybody to use and be part of. It is going to take a little bit of time and energy but it will be a great thing for the community.”
Debbie Abrahams MP praised SSYCA for their commitment to securing the vital centre.
She said: “I am delighted to support the reopening of the Satellite Centre. The centre looks brilliant and provides a great facility for the local community.
“The trustees aim to make this an inclusive centre which benefits all our community and I want to congratulate them and their supporters – they have worked very hard to make this happen.”
Mayor of Oldham Derek Heffernan added: “This was once a thriving centre and when it closed it was devastating. It is a delight to see it brought back into use for the community to enjoy.”
And Cllr Pam Byrne said: “I was here for the opening of the Satellite Centre in 1966. It is not often you get to go to two openings of the same building!
“It is great to see all of the community involved in this. I believe it will successful because the will and enthusiasm are there from everybody.”
The Satellite Centre is now open and taking bookings from local groups and clubs for all ages and activities. They will be launching a new website soon with more details.
Earlier in the summer, the Satellite Centre reopened its doors for the first time as SSYCA hosted a bank holiday weekend of fun activities for young people.
From theatre to music and building model airships, there was a huge variety of activities on offer for free.
Tony Burke, vice chair of SSYCA and president of Saddleworth Rotary Club, said: “We had a myriad people of all ages who took part or just simply dropped in to the centre to offer their support.
“The showcase was a real success and is a platform for future plans.”