Regional firm gives grant for kitchen refit

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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Facilities at a busy Northumberland community centre have moved into the 21st century after a four-figure grant from a regional employer paid for a long overdue upgrade of its kitchen.

The existing kitchen at Stobswood Miners’ Welfare Recreation Centre was installed not long after the popular venue 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.

The centre’s committee had been looking for ways to replace the kitchen with something more modern, but with takings from its bar only bringing in enough to cover its running costs.

But now, Banks Mining has stepped in with a £5,200 grant from its Banks Community Fund to cover the cost of a complete kitchen upgrade, 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, and it has also been totally rewired and painted, all thanks to the skills of people living in the area.

Stobswood Miners’ Welfare Recreation Centre was established for the benefit of people living in and around the parish of Widdrington Station and Stobswood, and provides a home for a number of community sports teams, including the local darts, pool, dominoes, football and cricket clubs.

It’s also regularly used for local children’s parties and other events, and the Centre’s committee are hoping to now see more community groups choosing it for their functions and activities.

The Banks Community Fund provides grants for community groups and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of both operational and proposed Banks Group projects. Anyone interested in applying for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 3786342.