A FORMER footballer officially opened a new community facility.
Former Newcastle United and England footballer Steve Howey officially opened the new changing rooms at Welfare Park in Blackhall.
In his opening speech he praised both Monk Hesleden Parish Council and the community for the first class facilities and said everyone should be extremely proud at what had been achieved.
Parish council chairman, Coun Bass Underwood, thanked the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Durham county councillors Alan Cox and Rob Crute and the Blackhalls and Hesledens Community Regeneration Partnership for their financial contribution to the building.
He also acknowledged the services provided by Burns Architects and Ronden Builders who worked closely with the parish council to deliver the project on time and on budget.
Coun Underwood said: “This facility has been needed for over 20 years and finally in 2010 matched funding was secured.
“I would like to acknowledge the perseverance of my fellow councillors, without whom these fantastic facilities would not have been built.”