Local team moving into new premises

One of the hip hop classes for children at Whitley Bay Big Local.

One of the hip hop classes for children at Whitley Bay Big Local.

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An organisation helping to create a bigger community feel in Whitley Bay is moving to new premises.

Whitley Bay Big Local is aiming to relocate from its current base on Park View into the heart of the town centre, inside the dedicated Big Local area.

The Big Local team and its volunteers who get involved in a range of community-based activities are looking to build on their efforts and offer even more to the local community.

The doors of the current shop will be closing at the end of September but it is hoped that the lease on the new centre will soon be secured, aiming to become home to even more weekly activities.

The Big Local board is also hoping that the new location will become more of a hub for other members of the community to use.

Jess Burns, chair of Whitley Bay Big Local and a local resident, said: “Whitley Bay Big Local has achieved so much in such a short space of time and the shop has undoubtedly played a huge role in engaging with the local community and providing a focal point to a growing schedule of regular activities.

“However we have always been keen to have a base in the Big Local area itself to help us to work more closely with residents who could benefit from being part of Big Local and the support it can offer.

“We are really excited to be moving in to the heart of the Big Local area and are hoping that such a visible presence will not only appeal to our current users but will allow us to reach out to those who do not yet know Big Local.”

Sarah Sutton, community involvement coordinator at Whitley Bay Big Local, added: “The shop is a hive of activity and attracts people of all ages and backgrounds.

“Families with young children regularly drop in to our weekend activities and we have a growing number of people who use the base for a host of community based events during the week.

“We hope that our new shop will provide us with an even better base to grow our activities calendar and as we will be able to let other local community groups use the space we know it will become a real community asset.”

Whitley Bay Big Local is a ten year community led partnership funded by the Big Lottery designed to help local residents to create a better community in which to live, work and visit.

With a £1m budget to spend over the ten year period the shop represents a significant investment and forms part of the Big Local three to five year plan which has been drafted in response to community feedback.

To find out more about Big Local, its work or how you can get involved or simply to find out more about what’s on offer contact sarah.biglocal@yahoo.co.uk