Warm front moves in to village centre

NORTHUMBRIAN hospitality will be even warmer at a revamped village centre as a new heating system has been installed.

Mitford Community Centre has undergone a massive refurbishment programme in recent years to bring its facilities up to the highest standards.

And while much of the work was completed almost two years ago, the state-of-the-art heating system has only just been installed.

Community Centre Committee member Brian Talkes said: “We have really suffered over the years with people feeling so uncomfortable coming into the hall for committee meetings with their coats and scarves on, and not being able to hear properly what people are saying because of the noise of the old heaters.

“People can now come in and feel comfortable and happy to be there.

“The heating system we have put in will be using heat pumps so it is very energy efficient and a green form of heating.”

In recent years almost £23,000 has been spent on the centre on roof and ceiling repairs, insulation, double glazing, disabled access, lighting, doors and paintwork.

The £15,000 heating installation, by Tyneside company Acrol, was made possible by grants from the Lottery Awards for All scheme, county councillor David Towns, the Community Foundation, Sir James Knott Fund and Mitford Parish Council, as well as with funds from local events.

It is hoped the centre will now be more appealing to businesses and organisations for off-site meetings and a publicity campaign will get under way to promote the premises as a venue for children’s parties.

However, the first event in the warmed-up building will be a Northumbrian evening on Saturday.

The event, which is to be hosted by local celebrity Ernie Coe, will blend humour and music and there will be a mild Irish flavour in honour of St Patrick’s Day, with some Irish dancing alongside the traditional Northumbrian entertainment.

“People are really looking forward to it,” said Mr Talkes.

“We have had a number of similar evenings over the years. We had one about 12 months ago, which was very good but not very well supported, however we are hoping that the extra publicity about this and selling tickets person-to-person will make it a good launch event for the new heating system.

“Of course it is being hosted by Ernie Coe, who is very well-known in the area, so that will be an attraction.”

The evening begins at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £7.50, including a Northumbrian supper. They are available by calling 01670 517952.