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Future of centre back on agenda

Storey Park Community Centre in Morpeth.
Storey Park Community Centre in Morpeth.

Residents living on the Kirkhill estate have raised concerns about the future of a community centre in Morpeth.

But Jo Gooding and Neil Shashoua are hopeful that Storey Park can be upgraded and used by more people if there is strong community support.

Meetings have taken place between Morpeth Town Council and Northumberland County Council over the last few years to discuss the poor state of the building. It is currently leased by the town council from the county council.

An agreement for the town council to take on the centre could not be reached before the elections in May, but the Conservative administration at County Hall is now putting it back on the agenda as part of its overall future plans for Morpeth.

During public participation time at last week’s full meeting of the town council, Jo said: “We would like to see a more community-focused centre in terms of encouraging a more diverse offer of activities and improved communication about what the centre is there for and who can use it.

“We understand there are maintenance issues and it could be argued that the centre needs to be radically updated regardless to meet the changed needs of the community.

“We would like to see as a starting point proactive engagement with local residents to find out if they are interested in the centre’s future and the types of activities they would like to see available, as well as what current users think.”

Richard Wearmouth, town and county councillor, said Storey Park has been mentioned by a few residents as part of the county council’s Morpeth masterplan exercise and fresh discussions between the two local authorities will soon take place.

Neil and Jo are keen to hear from other residents with an interest in either helping to save and update the facilities or just have ideas about potential future activities.

They can be contacted by email – StoreyParkccConsult@gmail.com