The Energy Hub: New Hartlepower venture aims to re-energise Hartlepool voluntary sector after winning £160,000 National Lottery funding

A new resource centre promises to re-energise Hartlepool’s voluntary and community sector after winning £160,000 in lottery funding.

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 17:44 pm
The Energy Hub trustees and staff outside the venue in Stranton which will provide support to local community groups, charities and small businesses.

The Energy Hub has moved into a building in Stranton formerly occupied by the charity Patch Family Support, which closed in early 2017.

It is a mini enterprise centre offering advice, information and resources to the towns’ voluntary and social enterprise sector as well as fledgling small businesses.

The new venture is being spearheaded by the charity arm of Hartlepower CIC (Community Interest Company) which has leased the building from Camerons Brewery.

The Energy Hub worker Clair Gilbraith.

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Three members of staff, all with a wealth of experience, have been employed thanks to the lottery funding for three years.

It is hoped the centre will replace some of the gap left by the loss of Hartlepool Voluntary Development Agency (HVDA) which closed after 31 years in 2017 due to lack of funds.

Peter Gowland, a former HVDA employee and chair of Hartlepower, said: “Since the demise of HVDA people were telling us that there’s no help available and funders were saying they were not getting bids any more from Hartlepool so was missing out on money.

“We really want to try and get that money brought back in. The idea of this resource centre is ultimately to make Hartlepool a better place by making organisations that contribute to its fabric more resilient and have longer futures.”

The Energy Hub venture make space for local community groups.

He added it also has all the resources needed to help new charities and small businesses become established.

A number of small businesses have also moved in including guitar repair by Daniel D'Archy, Chinese massage and beauty therapy, and Nutty Little Luxuries which makes bath, body and fragrance products.

Julian Penton, one of the centre’s three development support staff, said: “The voluntary and community sector already makes an amazing contribution but this has the potential to ramp it up by the factor of 10 or 100.”

And Juli Simons, who helped carry out a survey for the new centre, added: “The feedback showed this is the sort of service that is needed. It’s an excellent opportunity to bring local organisations together.”

The Energy Hub venture make space for local community groups including Guitar and Pedal Maintenance's Daniel D'Archy.

To find out more call the centre on (01429) 806400 or email info@hartlepower.co.uk