£1.2m investment is now step closer

Plans for a £1.2m investment in a county town to transform an old building into a vibrant new community centre have taken a step closer.

East Bedlington Community Centre trustees are celebrating after successfully completing the second stage of their Big Lottery application for funding to redevelop the former Co-op building in Station Street to create a new community centre.

The final step, which must be presented in May this year, will give the committee the opportunity of involving as many people as possible to make sure that the plans cover the needs of all members in the community.

A grant of £10,000 has been awarded by the Big Lottery ‘Reaching Communities’ scheme to help complete the final stage of the application.

Secretary Jenny Tindale said: “Everyone on the board of trustees is really excited to have come this far.

“People in Bedlington Station and the surrounding area desperately need and deserve a facility like this as there is currently no provision for people to meet for any activity or to socially interact.

Chairman of East Bedlington Parish Council, Coun Alex Wallace, said: “We are delighted with the news that the community centre trustees have reached the final stages of their £762,000 bid, and we are committed to working in partnership with them to deliver the facilities and services that have been identified as lacking by our community during the development of our parish plan.”

The parish council has been unanimous in its support for the project, and its financial commitment to the scheme is in the region of £400,000.

Coun Colin Parker, the council’s appointed trustee, added: “The parish council and the centre trustees are committed to working together to address the levels of deprivation in our community and hope that this project will provide the catalyst for further investment and regeneration in the area.”