Red Hall community centre awarded £10,000 lottery grant for refurbishment

The Advertiser Series: Volunteers help to spruce up Red Hall Community Centre earlier this year Volunteers help to spruce up Red Hall Community Centre earlier this year

A DARLINGTON community centre is set to be transformed after being awarded a lottery grant to help upgrade its facilities.

Red Hall Community Centre was given £10,000 by the Big Lottery Fund, as part of its small grants programme, Awards for All.

The money will be used to reconfigure the building, changing one large space into three usable rooms, as well as other internal updates, new child-friendly toilets and the potential for a future nursery annexe.

The association in charge of Red Hall Community Centre had revealed earlier this year that it was facing extreme financial difficulties due to council cuts unless more sports, children’s and community groups made use of its facilities.

The appeal to ‘use or lose’ Red Hall Community Centre proved a huge success, with a number of groups and businesses now using the building regularly, helping the association to generate more income.

Councillor Martin Landers, ward member for Red Hall and treasurer of the association, said the revitalisation of the centre was down to the hard work of the association members and the community.

He said: “There’s no more money coming from the council and we were spending more than we were bringing in, which wasn’t a nice situation.

“Through the hard work of the community and the lottery grant, things are really looking up. We exceeded our financial targets for the year.

“It was wonderful when we had grants from the local authority but, in a curious way, it creates apathy. You don’t feel the need to market the building or encourage people to use it but when we lost the grant it made us become more business-minded and it has been a revelation.”

Plans for the reconfiguration of the community centre, which will allow it to be used by several groups at the same time, have already been drawn up and tenders for its construction will go out in the new year.

Red Hall Community Centre is open seven days a week, between 8am and 9pm.

To book a one-off or regular event at the venue call Lyn or Caroline on 01325-462979 between 9am and 6pm.

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