Run-down sports hall ‘unrecognisable’ after transformation project

(Front centre) Manager of Boldon Community Association Susan Topping with (left) John Topping of Durham County FA and Colin Dagg of Keep Active NE with fellow funding supporters in the refurbished Sports Hall. Picture by FRANK REID
(Front centre) Manager of Boldon Community Association Susan Topping with (left) John Topping of Durham County FA and Colin Dagg of Keep Active NE with fellow funding supporters in the refurbished Sports Hall. Picture by FRANK REID

A run-down sports hall has been given a brand new look thanks to a £30,000 funding grant.

The multi-use games area based in Boldon Community Centre, in New Road, Boldon Colliery, has been described as “unrecognisable” following a major transformation.

The recently refurbished Sports Hall at Boldon Community Association. Picture by FRANK REID

The recently refurbished Sports Hall at Boldon Community Association. Picture by FRANK REID

Gone is the dark, dusty flooring, dark walls and dull lighting to make way for a much more brighter and airy room where people can enjoy the sport they love.

The transformation, which saw the sports hall closed to the public for almost five weeks, has been made possible through a £31,856 grant from the Suez Community Trust.

Community centre manager Sue Topping said: “All the walls have been repaired and painted, there’s new flooring - the money has enabled us to give it a brand new facelift.

“It has helped bring the sports hall up to the standard seen in other community centres.

I just started looking for funding and I was successful with the Suez Community Trust.

Sue Topping

“We are already taking a lot of bookings, especially around the tea-time, I just wish I had another one.”

Sue added: “When I first started here, I used to dread showing people the sports hall, but now I have no hesitation taking people down and showing what we have to offer.

“I had asked people what they wanted from the community centre when I first took it over, and the sports hall was one of the projects I wanted to take on.

“I just started looking for funding and I was successful with the Suez Community Trust.”

Funding was also found to replace the old sports equipment including cricket nets and football mats.

Previously, the hall’s flooring was in a bad state, and its dark walls and floor led to poor visibility, making it difficult for people to enjoy activities.

It is hoped the new look will encourage more people to make use of the facility and make it more accessible to schools and disabled groups.

Marek Gordon, chairman of SUEZ Communities Trust, said: “We provide funding awards through the Landfill Communities Fund.

“This important source of funding has been available since 1997, and has provided such worthy projects with more than £1.4billion.

“We were delighted to be able to offer funding to Boldon Community Association.”

To date SUEZ Communities Trust has supported more than 3,900 projects with a combined value of more than £110million.

For details on the centre call 536 8085.