Training unit open again after revamp

Coun Ian Lindley with Sharon Storey and Raymond Easton at the opening of the newly refurbished Hepscott Park Horticultural Skills Unit.
Coun Ian Lindley with Sharon Storey and Raymond Easton at the opening of the newly refurbished Hepscott Park Horticultural Skills Unit.

A TRAINING unit is set to blossom after being reopened after refurbishment.

Northumberland County Council’s horticultural skills unit at Hepscott Park at Stannington offers training and work experience to adults with learning disabilities. It is open five days a week and can accommodate 16 people a day.

More than 100 users of the centre, their carers and staff turned out for an event to mark its reopening.

The council’s executive member for health and wellbeing, Ian Lindley, of Morpeth Stobhill, was joined by service users Raymond Easton, 51, of Seaton Delaval, and Sharon Storey, 40, of Cramlington, as he unveiled a plaque to mark the completion of the revamp.

The work carried out at the site is intended to enhance its commercial capabilities and to accommodate users with a broader range of disabilities.

Disabled access and new glasshouses have been installed.

Sharon said: “I’ve seen lots of changes over the years.

“I really enjoy coming here and gardening and meeting new people.”

Further work, including building a coffee shop, has already started and is due to be completed later this summer.

Coun Lindley said: It is certainly clear to see that people enjoy coming and working at the Hepscott Park unit.

“The unit offers so much to enhance the wellbeing of users as it provides them with an opportunity to follow their own interests, as well as meeting new people.

“We will look to build upon the success of services such as these being offered at Hepscott Park, which includes preparing people for employment.”