A MENTAL health drop-in centre that was under threat of closure is to have its services and accommodation expanded.

Building work on the Marron House building in west Ealing is set to start in early summer 2016, with the the Solace Centre moving 10 yards into another part of the building.

Three new flats for the mental health residential unit will also be created there.

Ealing Council's overview and scrutiny committee approved the expansion at a meeting on November 12.

Gerald Crossley, service user and campaigner for the Save our Solace campaign group, said: “It's been a fight, but a fight worth fighting for to save our vital resource.

“To be honest, there is way more advocacy needed for the mentally ill in Ealing and across London, probably country wide.”

The centre came under threat in November 2014 after Ealing Council considered closing the service as part of series of cutbacks to save £96million.

Save Our Solace was supported by the local community as well as celebrities including comedian Jo Brand, a former psychiatric nurse, and the council committed to keep the service but tender it to the voluntary sector.

“We all are hoping for beautiful and calming design, and to keep the wonderful staffing team that we and myself our lucky to have at the centre,” Mr Crossley added.

“It would be very hard to replicate this service without them.”

The provisional idea is to build the new Solace Centre first, before moving users over while the old centre is renovated.

The Solace Centre, in Marron House, was established in 1992 as a year-round mental health service that currently has an active membership of 85 people as well as visitors.

Jointly run by the West London Mental Health Trust and Ealing Council, its objective is to create a social and safe space for those with mental health issues and to prevent relapse, hospitalisation, isolation and loneliness.

Find out more about the Solace Centre and its services here.