SINGAPORE - Nee Soon Central Community Club, Singapore’s first CC to be located in a shopping mall, officially opened on Saturday – more than three years after it began operations.
Located in Northpoint City mall in Yishun, the CC is also the first to pilot a smaller-scale service centre that brings together over 200 government services to provide more convenience to residents.
Co-locating a CC with a shopping mall allows for greater convenience and accessibility as malls are often the heart of a town, said Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong at the opening, which was delayed for more than two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nee Soon Central CC was completed in early 2019 and began operations in March 2019.
The past model was for CCs to have standalone buildings, but it is not the best use of land in land-scarce Singapore, so the Government has been moving towards co-locating CCs with other amenities and facilities, added Mr Wong.
“You’ll find CCs co-located with a library or a police post, but this is the first time a CC is co-located with a private sector shopping mall,” he said.
“It’s not so easy to do because you have to find the right landlord; not every landlord is enlightened, progressive and open-minded… Frasers Property saw it useful to have this space (carved) out as a CC from Northpoint City for the community,” he said.
The new Nee Soon Central CC, which is next to Yishun MRT station and a bus interchange, is six times bigger than its previous location at the void deck of Block 749 in Yishun Street 72.
It houses a cooking studio, dance studio, function rooms and an open study area with free Wi-Fi, among other facilities.
The pilot ServiceSG@CC, located at the ground level of the CC, started operations in January 2022.
There, citizens can tap services such as topping up their Central Provident Fund accounts, get help with filing taxes and renewing their passports.
On Saturday, Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, who was also at the event, said that seniors and the vulnerable have found the service centre helpful as they are able to get assistance with various services without having to travel to different agencies.
Associate Professor Faishal, who is an MP for Nee Soon GRC, said: “Because of the integration with the mall, residents who were just walking in the mall and did not have the intention of coming to the CC, realised that they could just come in to look for programmes, courses and events they can join.”