Centre banks vital community grant

(front, seated) Barry Grimes, development relations coordinator at The Banks Group with (extreme left) Cath George, development worker at the BRIC, and a number of the other tenants of the Eric Tolhurst Centre.
(front, seated) Barry Grimes, development relations coordinator at The Banks Group with (extreme left) Cath George, development worker at the BRIC, and a number of the other tenants of the Eric Tolhurst Centre.
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A well-used community building in Blyth has been given a new lease of life after a four-figure grant paid for its redecoration.

The Eric Tolhurst Centre, used by around 9,500 people a year, accommodates several charities and non-profit organisations, including Blyth Valley Disabled Forum, Citizens Advice Bureau, Cease 24, Bliss Mediation Services and the SE Credit Union.

The building, more than 100-years-old, had been looking worn out as it had not been redecorated for over a decade.

Now a £7,700 grant from Banks Mining, via its Banks Community Fund, has paid for the centre’s public areas to be redecorated and re-carpeted, leading to positive feedback.

Work was led by not-for-profit Blyth Resource and Initiative Centre (BRIC).

Cath George, development worker at the BRIC, said: “The Centre hadn’t been decorated this century, and time had certainly taken its toll on the fabric and decor, so we’re extremely grateful to Banks for their generous support.

“The difference that having new carpets and freshly painted walls has made to the whole building is amazing.”

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at Banks Group, said: “The Eric Tolhurst Centre provides a well-used home for many organisations that contribute a great deal to community life in Blyth, and our support for this project is due recognition for the importance of the work that they all do.”