A disused school in Blyth is being transformed into a community hub to boost local businesses and create jobs.
The former St Andrew’s RC First School on Albion Way, had stood empty for nearly a year but has now been given a new lease of life after a £100,000 donation from Phoenix Taxis.
The building –now named the Albion Activity Centre – has seen the creation of space for four new enterprises and ten jobs – with hopes a further 30 jobs will be created when the centre is fully operational.
Phoenix Taxis is located next to the former school, and provided the investment as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy.
The firm’s managing director, Alex Hurst, said: “This is not just an investment in bricks and mortar it is an investment in our community and local enterprise.
“The site has potential for further development to incorporate more businesses and is geared for firms that promote a healthy and positive lifestyle.”
The refurbishment project started in September 2013 and is expected to be completed this April.
A nursery, dance studio, karate club and a catering company have already taken up space in the building.
Patsy Millen, director and manager of What a Hoot day nursery, said: “We are so excited to be opening the first phase of our brand new day nursery next month and have already had a lot of interest.
“The nursery has already created four jobs with a further 30 in the pipeline.”