Kitchen upgrade on the menu at recreation centre

From left, Kevin Batson, Jeannie Kielty of The Banks Group and Charlie Wiggett, a member of the Stobswood Miners' Welfare Recreation Centre committee.

From left, Kevin Batson, Jeannie Kielty of The Banks Group and Charlie Wiggett, a member of the Stobswood Miners' Welfare Recreation Centre committee.

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Much-needed modern facilities are now in place at a busy community centre.

The existing kitchen at Stobswood Miners’ Welfare Recreation Centre was installed not long after it opened in the early 1970s, with regular use ever since at community events and by a range of local sports teams gradually taking its toll.

But now, Banks Mining has stepped in with a £5,200 grant from its Banks Community Fund to cover the complete kitchen upgrade cost, with an army of volunteers coming forward to carry out the work.

New sinks, basins, worktops, ceramic hobs, a ventilation system and a pair of new ovens have all been installed, along with a completely new floor and tiles on the walls. It has also been totally rewired and painted.

Centre trustee Kevin Batson said: “It has always been extremely well used and the kitchen has gradually shown the signs of that popularity.

“Our only regular source of income is from the centre’s bar, but that really only covers our running costs and it probably would have taken us another three or four years to raise the money for this project if Banks hadn’t kindly stepped in.

“We’re lucky to have a lot of people here with the skills we needed to get this work done – it was a tremendous community effort.

“The feedback we’ve had from our existing users on the new kitchen has been really positive. Everyone’s really impressed with the upgrade and we’re very hopeful that word of mouth will help us attract even more community groups and local residents here for their various activities.”

Stobswood Miners’ Welfare Recreation Centre was established to benefit people living in and around the parish of Widdrington Station and Stobswood. It provides a home for football and cricket clubs and darts, pool and dominoes are played at the venue.

For more information about the Banks Community Fund and the application process, call James Eaglesham on 0191 3786342.