BT shows support for new library The Word

The Word, Market Place, South Shields

The Word, Market Place, South Shields

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A leading communications company has thrown its weight behind a new multi-million pound library in South Tyneside.

BT is supporting The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, which is due to open near to its South Shields offices on October 22.

From left, Mark Johnson, Martin Swales, Chief Executive of South Tyneside Council and Coun Iain Malcolm.

From left, Mark Johnson, Martin Swales, Chief Executive of South Tyneside Council and Coun Iain Malcolm.

The company is sponsoring the Market Place site’s FabLab area.

FabLab @ The Word will feature 3D printers and vinyl and laser cutters which will allow visitors to design and produce items such as fridge magnets, and keyrings.

BT will also sponsor the activity programme within FabLab, which is part of a global network.

As well as drop-in sessions, there will be an artist-led project run by the Cultural Spring. Artists will hold workshops where people will design and create art and craft work using the equipment in the FabLab. The first workshops will use the Ridley Scott launch exhibition as inspiration.

Coun Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “We are delighted to have BT on board supporting The Word, which is the centrepice of our South Shields 365 regeneration plan.

“South Tyneside Council and BT have a long tradition of successful partnership working and this sponsorship agreement will further enhance that relationship.”

South Tyneside Council and BT have been strategic partners since 2008, with BT delivering a number of services including IT, human resources and financial services, on behalf of the council.

Mark Johnson, chief operating officer of BT South Tyneside, said: “As an organisation, we are keen to foster a culture of ‘tech literacy’, particularly among children and young people. The FabLab will offer the opportunity to be creative using state-of-the-art technology.”

The Word, which opens on Saturday, October 22, is the centrepiece of the first phase of the £100million South Shields 365 regeneration masterplan by South Tyneside Council.