A KEIGHLEY community centre is undergoing extensive renovations thanks to £230,000 from the Towns Fund.

Bosses at the Sangat Centre, in Marlborough Street, say the Victorian building was in desperate need of modernisation.

"We were continually having to patch up leaks to stop water pouring through the roof as well as dealing with ongoing heating, boiler and electrical issues," says centre manager, Riasat Ali.

"It was so difficult and costly to make repairs on a piecemeal basis. We are grateful to have this opportunity to properly upgrade the building. We’ve been using local tradespeople to do the work, to put the money back into the area.

"The improvements we are undertaking follow feedback from our service users and the community, which is truly at the centre of our vision for the future. The refurbishment means we can expand our provision and welcome even more people to make use of the services."

Work has already been completed on the installation of new flooring and roofing, and the project will also include an IT suite and mezzanine floor.

Overall, the scheme is expected to take about two years to complete.

The centre – which offers a range of provision such as social day care, adult education and youth activities and holiday playschemes, to hundreds of people – will remain open throughout.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council's executive member for regeneration, planning and transport, says: "Keighley residents deserve a building that reflects the character of the local community.

"Through the Towns Fund, the Sangat Centre will be modernised to be energy efficient, meet the digital and online needs of service users and be an accessible, practical environment for an extensive range of crucial community services."

Ian Hayfield, chair of the Keighley Towns Fund board, says: "This renovation means that the Sangat Centre can function more efficiently and effectively for the people it serves. It also means the building will be a sustainable, productive place for many years into the future."

The scheme is also welcomed by Keighley Central ward district councillor Amjad Zaman, who says: "I am really pleased to see this investment in such an important community facility in the heart of Keighley.

"The Sangat Centre has served Keighley residents for many years and this funding will help it continue to do so for many more."

The centre also received £140,000 of match funding towards the refurbishment from the Community Ownership Fund.