The moment for which Oxford families campaigned for six years has finally arrived.

On Thursday,the £770,000 Florence Park Children's Centre, in Rymers Lane, was officially opened by Oxford East MP Andrew Smith- the culmination of years of campaigning by parents.

Dr Mohammed Hanif, of Cornwallis Road, spearheaded a campaign to get a new centre after the county council decided to close its former home, built in the 1980s, which was coming to the end of its life.

And in 2004 the new building was given the go-ahead.

Dr Hanif said: "It's a triumph for community co-operation and dedication of the parents and people who have worked so hard.

"This is what we have been looking forward to and although the campaign is officially coming to a close, our commitment, love and attachment to the place continue."

Children from nearby Larkrise Primary School sang to launch the centre, which will serve hundreds of families in Florence Park and Cowley, and ribbons were unfurled to represent each of the different groups - including the Save Our Centre campaign - which had made the new centre a reality.

Kelly Wall, 24, from Cowley, was one of the parents eager to make use of the facilities.

She said: "I think it's brilliant. I have been coming here every day that it has been open and it really is a great place for parents and children."

Marietta Wynder, 31, brought her two sons, David, three, and John, eight months, along.

She said: "I love coming here and it's really important, because there are so many things to do here, with the children playing and sharing together."

The centre took a year to build and services were transferred to a church in Hollow Way, Cowley, during construction.

The centre is open five days a week, with drop-in sessions for children and families, and special events with maternity experts, health visitors and speech therapists and a host of other services.

Adult education and training for returning to work will also be on offer.

The centre first opened its doors to families six weeks ago - and there has already been an increase in the number of people using its services.

Centre manager Norma Thompson said: "It's a place where people can come. We can offer some services here, or refer them on to specialist advice, or bring specialists in to the centre.

"We have a much bigger and better place to do that now."

On busy days, up to 180 people use the centre, with about 35 families coming to individual regular sessions.