A NEW community centre for young people has opened in Billingham after a major project by the town council.
A disused building in John Whitehead Park has been refurbished into the hub which will be used as a centre for a host of youth sessions and a place for youngsters to relax in safety.
The park’s cafe has also had undergone renovation work as part of the project.
A grand opening was recently held to celebrate the opening of the hub and the various other recent attractions in the park such as outdoor gym equipment and skate park.
Billingham Town council secured £27,000 of funding towards the project from Grantscape and Bradley Park waste management.
It is also working closely with Stockton Borough Council’s youth services to deliver sessions from the community hub three times a week.
Dianne Rickaby, the town council’s executive officer, said: “It is very early days into this project but the uptake of the facilities and the positive comments we have received have been amazing.
“Its been a long process but the town council are proud that they are able to offer this facility and service. “The youngsters and families of Billingham have a safe place to go to socialise and interact with others and of course can have a warm cup of tea.”
The council said the project was inspired by recognising young people needed a place to mix and use the other activities in the park.
Other recent additions to the park include tennis courts and multi-use games area.
Council chairman Ray McCall said the park has been “buzzing” since the new facilities were created.
He said: “The park was always an attractive place to visit but it was just somewhere to go and sit and have a picnic.
“Now there is so much more to enjoy. The park is 100 per cent better.”
The new community hub will also be used by Billingham Youth Council as a base to plan activities.