REGGAE beats will usher in a new chapter at the relaunched Afro Caribbean Centre, when it holds its first party this weekend after being shut for a year. The building is taking on a new lease of life after a revamp and will once again offer a focal point for a community which does not have a base in the town. Since a quiet opening two months ago, teething problems have been ironed out and the management is ready to welcome members old and new. Swindon 105.5 DJ MC Ranks will mark the centre’s return to full health by entertaining the crowd. Colin Cole, the acting secretary of Swindon’s West Indian Community Association, said: “We have carried out a facelift as the place needed freshening up.
“Before we closed down we also refurbished the office upstairs and laid new carpets.
“The centre is important because the community does not have a specific area in Swindon where it is based.
“We are having a party with MC Ranks on Saturday and we are going to be a community centre where people can drop in for advice and support.”
Migrants, mainly from the Caribbean, were settled in different parts of Swindon many years ago due to a council policy of dispersing the newcomers across the town.
The revival of the town centre venue is a boost in a year which saw the community’s annual carnival axed due to a lack of funding and the closure of the Grapes Hotel, which had supported reggae and urban music.
Information will be available at the party for anyone who is interested in becoming a member of the West Indian Community Association.
MC Ranks said: “The party is open to everyone and we are only asking for a donation to the running of the centre.
“Local DJs are welcome to turn up on the night and play their music.”
The night takes place at 39 Faringdon Road on Saturday. Doors open at 10am.
Reggae fans can also catch Mr Cole playing his sound system, Terrorist Nuclear, alongside one of the greats of the genre, Downbeat, on December 23 at the Black Swan in Bristol.