Help to transform underused social club into buzzing community hub

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An underused social club in Peterlee and its surrounding community will experience a new lease of life.

Leading boiler manufacturer and renewables specialist Baxi has donated a boiler which was installed at the social club with the help of students from The Technical Academy at East Durham College.

The new boiler will form a crucial part of a wider project to transform the building, known as the Pulse, into a much-needed community hub for the Eden Hill area of Peterlee.

Located on Eden Lane, the building had been unfit for public use due to a number of issues, including its original heating system, which was out of order.

But now ‘the ‘Pulse project’, led by Peterlee Town Council and East Durham Business Academy, will see the building used as a focal point for existing community groups to work from, as well as offering a potential home for service providers including Stonham mental health services and Durham Constabulary.

A requirement for the project is for it to provide practical training and development opportunities during the process of its transformation and to provide a facility for training once the project is completed.

Robert Hutchinson, centre manager and stakeholder of engagement for The Technical Academy at East Durham College, said: “Baxi’s generous contribution to the project will make an enormous difference to the community and, from our college’s perspective, has also given our students a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable work experience on a real installation.”

Baxi’s collaboration on the project, alongside East Durham College, was agreed following a Trade and Industry Day at the Technical Academy, which Peterlee Town Council and the project’s main contractor, Mark Ferguson also attended.

Roy Fugler, training officer at Baxi, said: “Funding for community projects can be very tight.

“By Baxi supplying the boiler and flue, we hope to have helped ease that pressure and enable the Pulse to redistribute the money that would have been used to purchase it somewhere else. In addition, it’s so important to help students build their portfolios through practical training and this project is such a great way to do that.”

The gas heating installation was completed at the end of May, however work on the project is still ongoing.

Brendan Arnell, horticultural supervisor at Peterlee Town Council added: “The positive “can do” attitude from all parties in this venture has been overwhelming and has generated a “buzz” throughout the area already, with lots of enquiries from the community in general. We have found a winning combination in East Durham College’s Technical Academy and 

“Our commendations go out for their professional expertise in assisting us as a town council with progressing the project from drawing board to where we are now.”