Easington Colliery Band creates new HQ in the last remaining pit building
Easington Colliery Band has completed its refurbishment of its headquarters, which was once the Old Pay Office for Easington Colliery.
The project has been in the planning stages for the last four years and came a massive step closer when the band was awarded grant funding of more than £100,000 last October to refurbish the old colliery pay office, the last remaining building of the pit, and convert it into a multi-use community facility.
The building now has an extended 60 square metre rehearsal room, storage rooms, two multi use meeting rooms, new toilets and a kitchen and café which is hoped to be opened up to the public as COVID restrictions ease later in the year.
In September 2019, the band was awarded a substantial grant from the Durham Coast and Lowlands Rural Development Programme for England, to redevelop the bandroom which used to be Easington Colliery wages office.
It is the last working building associated with the Durham coastal coalfield. The building was in a poor state and required financial assistance to prevent it falling into further disrepair.
This project will ensure the 105-year-old brass band will have a purpose made facility to take them into the next 100 years and provide the village with a much-needed community facility and meeting place.
A spokesman for the band said: “The band would like to thank the following organisations for their support and funding making this amazing project possible: The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) which is funded by Defra and the EU; The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD): Europe investing in rural areas; Durham County Council councillors David Boyes and Angela Surtees and Neil Benson and Ian Moran for their enthusiastic support for this project.
"We’d also like to thank Michael Watt (the owner of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club) for his contribution to this project and his continuing financial support without which, the band would not be able to function and maintain its high standards of performance enjoyed by its audiences and supporters."
Formed in 1915 by the miners and supported by them until the colliery closure in 1993, Easington Colliery Band is now mainly self supporting through playing concerts and charitable donations.