FRIENDS and supporters of Eastham Day Centre have celebrated a partnership that led to the unveiling of new signage and a community cycle hub.

The centre, in Eastham Rake, has enjoyed substantial support from Balfour Beatty, the company working in the Eastham area to replace gas mains on behalf of National Grid.

In addition to providing the large new sign for the centre, support has also included fundraising to move a redundant kiln to the day centre for use in pottery classes both for the area day service and the local community.

A kitchen has been renovated for cookery classes for use by the community in partnership with the council's lifelong learning service. Funds raised by Balfour Beatty staff providing new kitchen blinds.

Funds were also raised for a shower upgrade through raffles and support for the centre's Christmas Fair.

Supporters have also raised £400 for new equipment and a new wireless microphone headset, printer, and 25 sets of waterproofs have been donated for use by people who use the centre.

Present at the launch were local cyclists, working under the auspices of cycling charity Sustrans, who have set up a community cycle hub at Eastham Day Centre.

Using specially adapted bicycles, reconditioned bikes, and bicycles such as tandems, the cycle hub intends to help local residents and people who use the centre try their hand at cycling, with the help of the experienced volunteers.

Wirral's Mayor and Mayoress, Cllr Dave and Susan Mitchell, officially opened the new cycling hub, unveiled the new signage, and were welcomed by Wirral Taiko Dragon Drummers, who are based at the centre.

Centre manager Tony Richens said: "The help we are receiving from Balfour Beatty has been a real tonic, and we are delighted to see the new Eastham Community Cycle Hub officially launched."

Cllr Christine Jones, Wirral's cabinet member for adult social care, said: "Our links with the community are very important to us and we are very appreciative of Balfour Beatty’s help and support."

Kevin Hallas, North West Customer and Community Manager on Balfour Beatty's contract with National Grid, said: "We are committed to leaving a lasting legacy in the areas in which we work and we’re therefore delighted to be able to help this important local community resource.

"Everyone has rallied round to provide support, including a number of our suppliers and sub-contractors – it’s been a fantastic team effort."

Simon Wallis, Sustrans' 'Bike It' officer, said: "Eastham Cycle Hub aims to offer cycling opportunities to anyone who would like to take them up.

"We have specially adapted bikes available, and will be offering free cycle support for adults and children, cycle maintenance courses and guided cycle rides through our facility at Eastham."