A new coffee shop is helping to brew up a new income stream at a community centre in South Tyneside.
Northern Coffee has finally switched on the kettle for customers at All Saints Community Centre, in Stanley Street, South Shields.
The venture is being supported by the venue’s manager Jason Meiers who is hoping to see the coffee shop go from strength to strength.
It is one of a number of ways the community centre is providing its own income after local authority funding was cut in April.
Mr Meiers said: “It was an idea I thought of a few years ago to have a coffee shop within the centre which served locally-sourced products. “Then the opportunity came up to have Northern Coffee based at the centre.
“The company has spent a lot of time sourcing the best coffee beans and I’m hoping people will prefer it to the bigger chains.”
It is just a great addition to the centre and hopefully it will go from strength to strength.Jason Meiers
She added: “It also means we have a steady income for the centre through the rent we receive from the coffee shop.”
The coffee shop currently employs three full-time staff members - all with experience within the coffee-making industry.
Ingredients - with the exception of the coffee beans - are also locally sourced.
Northern Coffee was officially opened by the Mayor of South Tyneside Coun Olive Punchion and player Ellie Dobson from Middlesbrough Women’s Football team, which is sponsored by the coffee shop.
Mr Meiers added: “Since taking over the running of the community centres from the council, both All Saints and Chuter Ede are doing really well.
“Having the coffee shop based at All Saints can only enhance the facilities we offer to the community.
“People can come in and enjoy a cuppa with friends and find out more about the groups we have available or those accessing groups can call in before or after their sessions.
“It is just a great addition to the centre and hopefully it will go from strength to strength.”
Earlier this year, South Tyneside Council pulled funding for community centres across the borough in a bid to save cash.
A number of those centres were able to re-brand themselves as charitable incorporated organisations to enable them to access funding.
Northern Coffee is open Mondays to Fridays from 9am until 5pm and Saturdays 9am until 4pm.