It’s the start of a new era for a popular community centre in South Tyneside.
For years, members of Chuter Ede Community Centre have carried on the best they could despite fears they could lose the venue they had grown to love.
Despite the rumours that we are closed, we are very much open for business – even more so now. Moving the centre to this side of the building has been a win-win for all.Jason Meiers, Chuter Ede Community Centre
But now, after discussions between centre users and South Tyneside Council the venue has been given a new lease of life.
As of last week, centre staff and users have been allowed to move into the side once occupied by the education authority.
The changes mean the centre has a new entrance, new canteen area and more rooms which can be hired out to community groups.
It also means a part of the old centre will now be closed to the public. However, the gyms, dance studio, fitness suite, main hall and stage, will still be accessible.
Centre manager Jason Meiers said: “Despite the rumours that we are closed, we are very much open for business – even more so now.
“Moving the centre to this side of the building has been a win-win for all.
“We have a much brighter entrance area, a bigger and more fit-for-purpose canteen facilities, more rooms for hire for community groups and a bigger car park, which will hopefully go some way to alleviate some of the traffic problems caused by people parking on Galsworthy Road.
“All our existing groups have been catered for within the new layout of the building and the feedback has been really positive.”
Mr Meiers added: “We have to thank South Tyneside Council for giving us this opportunity.
“I’m just hoping the centre can grow and expand so we can provide everything that people in the area want.
“We also want to keep things affordable to encourage more community groups to come and set up a base here.”
The centre runs a host of groups and activities as well as a library.
It is hoped with more rooms being made available the centre will be able to offer training and meeting facilities as well as office space for hire.
For information on what activities and facilities the centre has on offer, contact 536 0515.