Cash boost to help refurbish community facility

Staff and users at the Linskill Centre celebrate a grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

Staff and users at the Linskill Centre celebrate a grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

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A community organisation has been given a cash boost in their plans to refurbish their home.

The Linskill Centre, in North Shields, has been awarded nearly £700,000 from the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Reaching Communities Buildings’ grant programme.

The money will help the Linskill and North Tyneside Community Development Trust, which runs the centre, to carry out major refurbishment of the building.

Planned work includes developing a new entrance and reception area, carrying out improvements to the heating and insulation, improving access to the building, renewing guttering and roofing, refurbishing the fabric of the building, and opening up more areas within the building for local groups and small businesses to use.

Simeon Ripley, chief executive of the Linskill and North Tyneside Community Development Trust, said: “This is wonderful investment in the future of the Linskill Trust and a marvellous tenth birthday present for the Centre.

“I’m thrilled that work to improve the facilities for users of the Centre can now go ahead and we are very grateful to the Big Lottery Fund for their support.

“We are delighted that the Big Lottery’s Reaching Communities Buildings grant fund has recognised the contribution that the Linskill Centre makes to the life of local people and thanks to their support the Linskill Centre will become an even better resource for the community in North Tyneside.”

Lyn Cole, Big Lottery England grant making director, said: “It’s wonderful to hear how the Linskill Trust plans to use its building for community projects to help people.”

The Linskill Centre receives more than 120,000 visits from the North Tyneside area every year and is a popular venue for concerts, theatre productions, craft and art groups, social events, sports and keep-fit, and wellbeing and creative activities.

The Centre is the permanent base for 30 organisations including local charities and small businesses.

The Linskill Nursery proudly delivers Ofsted rated ‘Good’ nursery provision.

The Centre is also home to the newly-opened Café 32, which is now open seven days a week serving a wide range of food and drinks.

For more information about the work of the Linskill Centre and the events programme visit www.linskill.org