Stepping in to save an ageing building

16 Jan 2017

The Leader of Northumberland County Council has stepped in to help stop a Prudhoe community facility being closed.

Local Councillors for Prudhoe Eileen Burt and Tony Reid called on Grant Davey to intervene in a dispute between local people regarding where youth services in the town should be delivered from.

Recently, the Fuse Centre built under the previous administration and opened in 2011, has struggled financially and the Community Initiative Company formed to run the centre has failed to attract enough business to keep the Centre open.

Northumberland County Council, which owns the Fuse building at Prudhoe High school, is to come to its rescue by investing in its future and moving viable activities into the Fuse.

A small part of that investment was to move Youth Services from the nearby  but very old East Centre over to the Fuse to share and extend the viability of the facility.

Councillor Davey said: “It’s a pity that the shared arrangements in Prudhoe have engendered so much opposition but I have decided to halt this change following an appeal by our members in Prudhoe.

“It was well documented at the time we were always concerned about the viability of the Fuse centre in the long term. A 100 seat theatre/cinema is not large enough to bring decent size events to Prudhoe and theatres that are too small will always struggle to be viable.

“Retaining the East Centre as a youth facility may require some additional help from Prudhoe Town Council over and above their current very generous grant.

“We will also allow young people who attend Prudhoe High School to use the very high class IT and recording facilities at the Fuse leaving young people from Prudhoe with the opportunity to use both types of youth provision, the modern and the traditional.”