County Durham residents will be able to enjoy a range of sports and leisure activities in a newly refurbished community venue.
Coundon and Leeholme Community Centre has been fully renovated, with the finishing touches added with financial support from Durham County Council.
The council’s Bishop Auckland and Shildon Area Action Partnership (AAP) administrated a contribution of £1,500 from local ward representative Cllr Charlie Kay’s neighbourhood budget, to redecorate the centre’s main hall for the first time in more than ten years. The Coundon and Leeholme Community Association combined this with £640 of its own funding to pay for the work, which was carried out by a local firm.
Decorating the hall was the last stage of a four-year refurbishment project, which included removing asbestos tiles, and installing new flooring and a new kitchen, as well as updated toilet facilities, a new sound system, and replacement curtains for its stage and windows. One hundred new chairs were purchased, and exterior paintwork and woodwork have also been overhauled.
Work on the hall, which was recently replicated at Beamish Museum as part of the attraction’s Remaking Beamish project, was delayed due to coronavirus restrictions, but improved facilities have now reopened for limited use, operating in line with the latest Government guidance.
The improvements have made the building more attractive to potential hirers and since re-opening, the centre has received bookings from several new users, who have expressed their commitment to using the hall regularly.
Pat Clarey, Secretary of Coundon and Leeholme Community Association said,
“When the building was transferred into our care, we inherited the responsibility for its upkeep and maintenance. The AAP has helped us every step of the way with funding towards the refurbishment and our community now has a venue to be proud of.”
Andrew Walker, Coordinator of Bishop Auckland and Shildon Area Action Partnership, said: “With the support of Cllr Kay and his neighbourhood budget, Coundon and Leeholme Community Association have done an amazing job in upgrading and developing community activity at the Welfare Hall. I’m delighted the Bishop Auckland and Shildon AAP could help and I’m looking forward to hopefully visiting the hall soon.”
The council’s 14 AAPs give people and organisations in County Durham the opportunity to work together and take action on local issues. Further information and contact details for each AAP are available at www.durham.gov.uk/aaps