Whitley Bay Big Local community centre to officially reopen after £400,000 makeover

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A Whitley Bay community centre is set to launch a new hub after a £400,000 makeover.

The Whitley Bay Big Local, formerly a Job Centre on Whitley Road, is set to open its new hub on September 21.

The hub, complete with community spaces and a new cafe, will be officially opened by the Mayor of North Tyneside, Dame Norma Redfearn.

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David Carnaffan, CEO of Whitley Bay Big Local, said: “We are thrilled to have completed the refurbishment of the building and to offer a wider range of community projects from our new hub.

Whitley Bay Big Local on Whitley Road. (Photo by LDRS)Whitley Bay Big Local on Whitley Road. (Photo by LDRS)
Whitley Bay Big Local on Whitley Road. (Photo by LDRS)

"We have seen an increase in the number of people using the building, many for the first time, and we are delighted to welcome them while continuing to offer space and support for people who need it.

“The launch event is a great opportunity to thank everyone who has helped us make our vision a reality, especially our funders, who have been instrumental in making this possible.

“The new hub is not only more attractive and comfortable but also more environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

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"We have reduced our carbon footprint and our running costs by adding a warm roof, solar panels, and LED lighting throughout. This means that the building can be an asset for the community for decades to come.”

Whitley Bay Big Local's new interior. (Photo by LDRS)Whitley Bay Big Local's new interior. (Photo by LDRS)
Whitley Bay Big Local's new interior. (Photo by LDRS)

Back in August 2022, Whitley Bay Big Local hosted a ‘Soul of Ukraine’ art and culture exhibit to help raise funds for Ukrainian refugees.

Big Local also sought funds to restore a rare and listed K4 phone box outside of Whitley Bay metro station.

Dame Norma Redfearn DBE, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, said: “The Whitley Bay Big Local does so much fantastic work in our communities hosting classes and activities, creating community spaces for residents to enjoy, and providing many different forms of support to anyone who needs it.

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“I am delighted to be part of the launch event and to formally open this new hub. I cannot wait to see how the Big Local makes use of its improved space and the benefits it will bring for residents.”

The upgrade was made possible with funding from the Department of Levelling Up, Local Trust, North of Tyne Combined Authority, Joicey Trust, Co-op Foundation, Biffa Award, and Enterprise Development Fund.