A £12 million health and community centre has opened on the site of a Birmingham church struck by the tornado which swept through the city seven years ago.
The centre was built on the site of Christ Church in Sparkbrook, which was consecrated in 1867.
The church had to be torn down after being blasted by 130mph winds which cut a kilometre-long swathe through south Birmingham on the afternoon of July 28, 2005.
The three-storey Sparkbrook Community Health Centre which has replaced it will serve around 15,000 patients and contains three GP practices and dental, baby and stop smoking clinics.
Birmingham City Council deputy leader Coun Paul Tilsley said: “I’ve watched the project develop from drawing board to reality and these are exciting times for the area.
“This project is a vital element of the wider regeneration of Sparkbrook. It will help improve people’s lives and cut out duplication of services, saving the taxpayer money in the process.”
The centre will also house the city council’s customer service centres, replacing temporary accommodation in Mole Street.
There are six offices for start-up companies or social enterprises and four rooms available for community use and events. The centre was officially opened by Lord Mayor, Coun Anita Ward.
Birmingham and Solihull NHS Cluster chief executive Denise McLellan said: “We are delighted Sparkbrook Health and Community Centre is now open and offering residents access to a wide range of health and community services under one roof.”
The second phase of the development, which is already underway, will build a church hall fronting Farm Road and Sampson Road.
The hall will offer space to worship, rooms for general use and a café.