A NEW community group is aiming to leave its mark on North Shields by helping safeguard and support an historic Georgian square.
The Friends of Northumberland Square is a mix of North Shields Chamber of Trade and Commerce, local residents and young people, with the aim of celebrating and publicising all that is great about the town.
The group has been supported by a £4,400 grant from North Tyneside Council’s Big Society Community Investment Fund, with £3,900 from local businesses.
Representatives were on hand last week to officially unveil a new town centre noticeboard and historical interpretation board installed in Northumberland Square, with North Tyneside Young Mayor Jade Hope performing the honours.
The board will be used by the community to promote local activities and be a focal point for information while the interpretation board describes and illustrates the history of the Georgian square.
Mayor Linda Arkley said: “I am pleased that we have been able to support this group; it is an excellent example of Big Society in action, where residents of different ages and backgrounds have come together to support and enhance their local area.”
Jade added: “It was an honour and privilege to be asked to officially unveil the boards in the square.
“It’s great to know that young people were behind this idea, and helped make it happen.
“I hope that more young people can get involved in the Friends of Northumberland Square group, and help future generations to enjoy it, as people have done in the past.”
David Bavaird, chair of the North Shields Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: “The Chamber are delighted to be have been involved in this project working with a wide range of age groups creating a further opportunity for us to attract visitors to the town.
“The Friends of Northumberland Square is a further real example of businesses in the town working with the voluntary sector for the benefit of the whole community.”
Alex Holding, chair of the Friends of Northumberland Square, said: “Northumberland Square is one of the key features of the town and we are keen encourage its usage by both its residents and the wider community.
“In establishing a noticeboard in the square we will have an important way for all groups to promote their events and activities and to encourage increased involvement within the community.”
The idea for the Friends group came from last year’s ‘Summer of a Lifetime’ project, delivered by VODA in North Tyneside.
The Friends of Northumberland Square website at www.friendsofns.org was launched at the start of June.
Developed by North Shields-based Wubbleyou, it has been designed to promote the use of Northumberland Square, enable organisations in North Shields to promote their activities and encourage increased community involvement.
For more information about the Friends of Northumberland Square visit www.friendsofns.org