Transformation pledged

Scott Dickinson at the site of the former Druridge Bay Middle School in Hadston.
Scott Dickinson at the site of the former Druridge Bay Middle School in Hadston.
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A former school site could be transformed into a new multi- purpose indoor facility for the community – if Labour win the county council election later this year, it has been pledged.

East Chevington Parish Council chairman Scott Dickinson has revealed that the old Druridge Bay Middle School site has been included in his party’s capital works programme.

The plan would be to consult residents, with a view to building and opening the centre, which could be used by local sports teams and clubs, providing changing rooms and training facilities for practical learning.

Coun Dickinson, who is also a county council candidate for the newly-formed Druridge Bay ward, said: “It was a devastating blow the day the county council agreed to close and demolish our school taking jobs and community benefits with it.

“I have fought to have this included in Labour’s plans and I am delighted that it has been.”

The final bell sounded at the school, which was named James Calvert Spence College – Hadston Road at the time of closure, in July 2011 and it was demolished soon afterwards.

Coun Dickinson believes the facility, at an estimated cost of £2million, would be beneficial to the community.

He said: “Currently Hadston organisations are temporarily housed at Hadston House since the demolition of the school.This new facility would allow them to move into purpose-built premises.

“It’s also suggested that the site can be utilised by young people’s clubs from Red Row Welfare during the winter as they currently have no location.

“While the building would be mainly used for sports it is planned that the building will also be able to house other groups that need larger spaces and training facilities for young and unemployed people.

“I am pleased that the leader of the Northumberland Labour Party, Grant Davey, has worked with me to commit future funding to our area.”

Coun Dickinson said it was too early to consult people about the issue but the community will play a vital role in deciding what is built when the time is right and the proposal has been firmed up.