WITH just months to go before the completion of the borough's latest landmark building, reporter JAMES WHITE and photographer STUART EMMERSON visited a formerly downtrodden estate to see how it is being transformed.
And walking through the Hub's under-construction community hall, offices and shop it is easy to see what has got local people buzzing in recent months.
The Hub, set off Hillside and next to the award-winning Fawoods Children's Centre, will contain a café, mini supermarket, office space and doctors' surgery.
It will also be home to 70 households, with 35 private and 35 shared ownership flats already on sale.
Nigel Swanton, head of development at the Hillside Housing Trust, which is responsible for the regeneration of Stonebridge, described the distinctive-looking Hub as an important landmark.
He said: "We are definitely breaking new ground and in that respect it is a flagship project for us and the local community.
"They have been waiting and waiting for this and are really excited and are looking forward to using the new facilities."
Hillside Housing Trust residents, many of whom live in homes built within the last few years, will be entitled to use facilities at a discounted rate and will also have better access to the Stonebridge Training and Employment Project (STEP) office, which provides work-related training for residents.
STEP will be re-located from smaller premises opposite the Hub to a new IT suite in its new community hall, which will also have a dedicated dance and aerobics area.
Rydon Construction is building the hub and is selling the private flats. It will also replace the road surface and pavements in Hillside and put in traffic lights on side roads to prevent the creation of rat runs through the Stonebridge Estate.
Jason Newbold, Rydon's contracts manager, has been on site since work began to clear it in autumn 2006.
He said: "When we took possession of the site it was heavily contaminated with Japanese knotweed. Also, more than 1,000 lorry-loads of fly-tipped rubbish had to be removed from the site and we had to be sure just what we were dealing with.
"It was a slow start but we've been flying along ever since."
Now Brent Teaching Primary Care Trust is set to take possession of the health clinic on September 1, with completion of the whole building aimed for later that month.
Chief Dennis Okocha, who recently received an MBE for his contribution to the Stonebridge area, welcomed the completion of the Hub.
He said: "When it was planned, local people sat down with the developers to tell them what was needed and that is how it should always be.
It will be a new heart for the local community, somewhere where we can all meet and it could even attract people from outside of the area."
By 2010, Hillside Housing Trust hopes to have demolished all old buildings in its regeneration area, replacing them with a total of 1,903 new homes, a third of which will be privately-owned.
Compared with the beginning of the regeneration programme in 1997, when Stonebridge was a byword for crime, poverty and unemployment, it is possible to see just how far the area has come.