Residents in a Norfolk village have finally got their own community hub after more than a decade of gathering at a disused shipping container.

The Community Hub Carbrooke, near Watton, officially opened on Friday, May 20 following a 12-year project to provide a space for people to meet and "use safely".

People living on the Blenheim Grange estate had been forced to squeeze into a disused shipping container to use as a community centre for occasional events.

And Carbrooke Parish Council and the Blenheim Grange Residents' Association had lobbied developers for a communal building after plans were lodged to build 106 houses in the area.

Following years of efforts, representatives of the council, residents' association and supporters have finally seen the end of the saga after a new hub opened on Buckingham Close.

The community hub, which is run by a voluntary management committee, is owned by Carbrooke Parish Council and was gifted by housing developers Westmere Homes as part of their planning obligations.

The Lady Dannatt MBE, Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk, officially cut the ribbon on behalf of the Queen to open the venue and was welcomed by Michael Wormall, chair of the residents' committee and parish councillor, district councillor Helen Crane, and pupils of St Peter and St Paul's Church of England Academy.

Lady Dannatt said: "It was such a pleasure and a joy to open the long-awaited Carbrooke Community Centre.

"A truly beautiful, spacious, light and airy, multi-functional community hub that will serve generations to come.

"Everyone involved should be so proud of their new centre."

Also present was Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman, Robert de Grey, from Westmere Homes, and others who helped create the space.

Mr Freeman said: "Blenheim Grange has faced a number of infrastructure problems in the years since its construction.

"Having visited residents several times when all they had was a donated, second-hand shipping container in which to meet, I am so proud of the tremendous local effort that has made this vision a reality.

"What a wonderful achievement it is."

Ms Crane said: "Thanks must be given to the parish councillors past and present who, over a long period of time have sustained the momentum to keep this project alive.”

Those behind the project also thanked the voluntary committee, Barratt Homes, Tom Clark, and Breckland Council.