ELDERLY residents from Heston checked out their new-look day centre at the official opening last Friday.
Heston Day Centre, in Vicarage Farm Road, replaces the old centre in nearby Springwell Road, which had become badly run-down.
The new facility is part of Heston House Resource Centre, where the number of beds has been reduced by six to 50 to make space.
It is part of Hounslow Council's new strategy to integrate residential and day care units, so facilities can be shared, and to increase the number of people living in their own homes.
Susan Witcher, interim head of service for joint and provider services for older people and adults, said the new venue would make a big difference to users.
"The old building wasn't fit for purpose. It was cold in the winter and hot in the summer," she told the Chronicle.
"This is much brighter, with beautiful grounds, more parking and a shared kitchen that can be used by anyone."
Ms Witcher added that the staff were exactly the same and the centre would still be used by about 40 people a day. She said it was not yet known what would happen to the old centre.
Opening the venue, Hounslow mayor Paul Lynch said: "I look at facilities like this with greater and greater interest as a possible customer in years to come.
"It's practical but welcoming and above all it has staff who really put a zing into people's lives."
Most users were impressed by the new centre.
Former railway maintenance worker Alfred Owens, 90, of Sutton Lane, Hounslow, who visits the centre once a week, said it was much brighter than the old centre.
Former factory worker Grace Brown, 92, of Benham Gardens, Hounslow, said she thought it was a big improvement on the old facility.
However, there were some dissenting voices.
Phil Southwood, 74, of Southern Avenue, Feltham, was concerned the new centre was slightly smaller and the number of toilets had been cut from 12 to four. He claimed members of the committee had not been given a proper say about the design.
But Ms Witcher said the old centre had been built to accommodate 100 visitors, but the number of users had fallen over the years to about 40 a day, meaning fewer toilets were needed.
She said the main halls in the new centre were similar in size to those at the old one, but the overall floor space had reduced because facilities like the kitchen and offices were now shared.