A community venture is to undergo much needed improvements, thanks to a four-figure grant.
Over the last seven years, the team at YMCA Northumberland in Ashington has been undertaking a programme of improvements at its North View premises to create a multi-use community venue.
And while around 5,000 people use the facility every year, the uninsulated high level barrelled roof – in place since the hall was built in the 1960s – meant it was difficult and uneconomical to heat.
But now a £4,953 grant from the Banks Group, provided via its Banks Community Fund, has seen a suspended ceiling, complete with a new lighting system, installed.
It has helped the YMCA launch a new monthly cinema club, new soft play service and ballet and stage school.
Rob Cox, chief executive at YMCA Northumberland, said: “We’ve put a lot of effort into improving our facilities over the last few years, and while the building is very well used, the problems caused by the original ceiling in the hall have been a stumbling block towards making it as attractive as we’d hoped.
“The installation of the new ceiling and lighting has made the hall an awful lot more comfortable and welcoming, and the feedback we’ve had from our users since the work was done has been really positive.
“We’ve now got a fantastic space that’s comfortable for everyone to be in for as long as they wish and at all times of the year.
“It would have been a real uphill struggle to get this work done without the generous support we’ve had from The Banks Group.”
Jeannie Kielty, development relations coordinator at The Banks Group, said: “YMCA Northumberland is an invaluable resource that’s already the centre for a huge range of community activities in Ashington, and the improvements that we’ve supported to the fabric of the building will hopefully encourage even more people to make use of it.”