A representative of the Queen officially opened a new one-stop shop for various council services in Hartlepool.
Sue Snowdon, the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, unveiled a plaque for the launch of the Community Hub Central at the Central Library, in York Road.
It is one of three new community hubs across Hartlepool that bring a host of services together under one roof to make them easier to access for residents.
Staff will be able to offer people advice on benefits, form filling, and debt at drop-in sessions, as well as direct people to other appropriate advice and guidance organisations.
Visitors can also take part in stop smoking sessions and pick up information on a range of health and wellbeing organisations.
Gill Alexander, chief executive of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “At the moment we have got a situation where we have got lots of different services that are in lots of different buildings.
“It must be quite confusing for people to know where to go to get the right support at the time when they need help.
“We think this will be a much more efficient and effective way of operating for the people of the town and will hopefully meet their needs to live healthier lives.”
The opening was attended by numerous civic dignitaries and guests including the Ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool Councillor Paul Beck, and council leader Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher.
Coun Beck said: “We are privileged and grateful that the Lord Lieutenant is with us today and it gives me great pleasure to invite Mrs Snowdon to officially open the new community facility.”
Mrs Snowdon said: “I’m delighted and very privileged that you have asked me to open your Community Hub Central.
“You have got to be congratulated on the development of these hubs. They are going to serve your residents in a variety of ways, providing a wide range of services from under one roof.
“When I read all the information, you have got everything here. This is a one stop shop; support on health, wellbeing, learning courses, IT, recreational activities and so many more things can be accessed in the hubs.”
Mrs Snowdon said the hubs will support the council’s vision set out in its 2017-2020 Council Plan to make Hartlepool a place people want to live, work and invest in. The other hubs are in Wynyard Road and West View Advice and Resource Centre.