Residents to benefit from transformation of building

Pictured are members of the iLearn Centre refurbishment team.
Pictured are members of the iLearn Centre refurbishment team.

Work to turn a dilapidated old shop unit in Morpeth into a high quality office to host a new employability and job skills service was a real team effort.

Dozens of volunteers descended on the former Stobhill Community Link building on Shields Road to transform it into the sparkling new iLearn Centre.

Staff from Isos Housing, which is leading the project, have been working alongside partners from the business world, public sector and voluntary sector to make the project happen.

The initiative is a partnership between Isos, Northern Learning Trust (NLT) and Northumberland Community Enterprise Ltd (NCEL). It is aimed at improving employment opportunities for residents in the area of Stobhill where most of the homes are owned and managed by the housing group.

Warwick Durnian, community investment officer at Isos, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by all the help and donations we have had to help make this project possible.

“When you see the DIY SOS show on television, you think it couldn’t happen that way here, but everyone has been so fantastic – all coming together to refurbish this building into a really welcoming environment so we can get this project up and running.”

The iLearn Centre brings together the knowledge and understanding that NCEL has of the locality and the expertise of NLT to provide support to local residents to improve their English, Maths, ICT and employability skills.

Two volunteer training programmes will be delivered over the next year and the initiative will also work with people in the community who have low level mental health problems.

Isos has thanked the following businesses for helping to make the project possible: Albany Contract Furniture, ASKAMS, Easi-lay Flooring, Esh Property Services, Jewson Ltd, MITIE, Newcastle Flooring Company Ltd, Strettle of Newcastle and Waymid Electrics.

There will be an official opening event for the centre tomorrow. Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery will unveil a plaque.