Old fire station to be media site

A computer generated impression of the proposed community hub at the old Ashington fire station.
A computer generated impression of the proposed community hub at the old Ashington fire station.
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PLANS have been drawn up to turn Ashington’s old fire station building into a state-of-the-art community facility.

Northumberland Community Arts and Media Partnership is finalising plans to adopt the former emergency service site which is being sold off by the county council.

Local businessman Gurj Ladhar has purchased the building and is working with the group to create the community facility.

He said: “When I was finally offered the old fire station by the council I was aiming to put some sort of sensible project together.

“When I found out about this new community group I thought it would be perfect for them to really get something tangible up and running.

“The area desperately needs something like this and I think they will do great things with the fantastic ideas they have.

“The group plan to launch a state-of-the-art community media hub incorporating a radio station, television studio, recording studio, creative suite and media centre.”

Plans being finalised would see the derelict site offering training, employment, skills learning and enterprise opportunities with the community group.

Ultra Radio will be first to move into the property with a live on-air studio and production suite installed in preparation for its launch at the beginning of June.

The community group is run by local volunteers set up to help pioneer, develop and champion music and creativity in Northumberland.

Project director Simon Ferson said: ”Our plans for the community hub would see us use the main building for office and studio space so we can help establish and deliver new music projects and media opportunities for local people of all ages.

“We are already in talks with education departments regarding their involvement in the project to ensure a variety of skills-based learning can be delivered alongside the hub’s function.

“We have so much musical talent locally, from artists playing in venues to kids developing their own music from their own bedrooms, no matter what kind of music style our community group want to develop this talent and music for the north east and beyond.”