FAMILIES, police officers and neighbours united for a cake-fuelled celebration of a community venue.

Rose Hill Community Centre in Oxford marked its second birthday on Tuesday, inviting residents to join staff and tenants for a party.

Oxford City Council opened the £4.7m facility in Rose Hill in 2016 and it has since become a core focal point in the area.

Residents have access to a gym, dance studio, library, advice centre, police office and rooms for hire, as well as a programme packed with activities and events.

Eleanor Watts, a member of Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon group, described the centre in Carole’s Way as a ‘fantastic space’ and a ‘community hub’.

The Rose Hill resident said: “It’s very friendly to local community groups, and very interested in keeping their carbon footprint low, which is what our group stands for.”

The group successfully lobbied the council to include solar panels in the design of the community centre, and 190 were installed and funded by the council.

Ms Watts said: “The staff at the community centre are always extremely helpful - it’s a great community hub and lots of people use it.

“The youth club there is a wonderful thing and it is thriving. It means that kids have got something positive to do.

“It’s a very pleasant place to meet and have a cup of tea.”

The state-of-the-art building replaced the old community centre in The Oval.

Ms Watts said: “There was affection for the old community centre but this has much better resources and spaces.

“It affirms that Rose Hill is an important place, a place where people feel proud to belong.

“It gives the sense that they matter.”

Residents and regulars at the centre stopped by for celebrations at the Bill Buckingham Ballroom, which was named after the late Rose Hill resident and long-serving city councillor, who died last year aged 96.

The community centre is also home to the office of Rose Hill, Iffley and Littlemore neighbourhood policing team, which hoped the on-site presence would make it easier for residents to contact police with any concerns.

Other tenants at the centre include Rose Hill and Donnington Advice Centre and Rose Hill Social Club.

Rose Hill Tenants and Residents Association holds meetings at the venue on the first Tuesday of every month, and residents are welcome to pop along to hear more about what is happening in their area.

The association’s chair Terry Kirkby was among those who enjoyed the birthday celebrations on Tuesday, alongside representatives from police and the city council.

For more information on the sessions and activities at the centre, visit facebook.com/rosehcc or ring 01865 749597.