Funding helps to clear the air at community venue

A community centre has been revitalised after work to modernise facilities and tackle an extensive damp problem.   
ATAC Community Hall, in Widdrington Station, has suffered the effects of damp throughout the building for several years, including mouldy furniture, and poor air quality.  
Now the building has been given a new lease of life, thanks to a £2,800 investment to install new ventilation equipment as well as a vibrant new colour scheme.
The improvements will allow the centre - a registered charity which is run entirely by volunteers - to reopen several function rooms and welcome back the Youth Service which puts on activities for young people in the local area.
Northumberland County Councillor Scott Dickinson stumped up most of the cash for the improvements from his ward funding allocation and the ATAC Board of Trustees put in the rest.
Cllr Dickinson said: “This is an important meeting place for the whole community, where people can get get together and socialise, stay in touch with friends and local groups, and take part in a wide range of activities from fitness classes to film clubs.
The damp problem was clearly getting out of hand and affecting people’s enjoyment of the space, whilst also depriving the centre of several function rooms and a key source of income.
The work we have done here has already helped to improve the air quality and brightened up the building, which has enabled groups to schedule more sessions and use the space with more confidence.
It also makes this a more pleasant working environment for our dedicated volunteers who spend so much of their time here, and without whom there would be no venue whatsoever.”
Chair of the Trust, Jacqui Bexfield, said: “The rooms were very damp and there was no natural light or ventilation, and our main room was only in use for around two hours a week. Now though we can have groups in without having to worry about damp spores in the atmosphere and the furniture going mouldy.  
The centre is currently used by line dancing, and there’s dancing for kids from ages 4 and up, and we’ve got our regular coffee mornings and keep fit classes, as well as the Youth Programme in on Thursdays.
They will all benefit from the investment here and we are planning a number of other improvements as well, to make the venue as inviting as possible.”
The venue, on Mile Road, hosts a range of groups and activities including a regular coffee morning, line dancing, dance classes for children, a monthly film club, and sessions run in partnership with the county council’s Youth Service.  
To find out what’s on at ATAC Community Hall, telephone 01670 790 219 or email for details.
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