LEADERS of a struggling community centre have called on fellow villagers to help them save the facility.

Wood View Community Centre, in Langley Park, near Durham, needs major repairs and a new boiler and is effectively closed.

But supporters say the facility is desperately needed, could be made a success once again and are calling on residents to rally round.

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A short anti-closure protest, staged outside the community centre ahead of a Brownies meeting, attracted more than 50 parents and children waving placards.

Management committee secretary Alison Spenceley said: “Once the heating’s sorted, people will flood back, because it’s a lovely building.

“But we need the village behind us to help us.”

The facility, built as a school in 1910, has been a community centre since the 1980s. It has two meeting rooms and good kitchen facilities.

However, use has declined over several years as problems have developed, so it is now only used by the Rainbows, Brownies and Guides, who only moved in last November.

Further, of late is has been effectively closed due to a leaking roof.

Durham County Council, which owns the building, has put the cost of repairs at £380,000 over five years.

Gordon Elliott, the council’s head of partnerships and community engagement, said it was keen to transfer community centres to local groups but it was unfair to expect such groups to run unsustainable facilities.

The council does not believe Wood View can continue as it is and has received no assurances the “substantial funding” needed for repairs can be met, he added.

Mr Elliott said the “good news” was there is an alternative facility nearby; and the council would work with Wood View to relocate its remaining groups or “help them to find alternative solutions”.

Nevertheless, Wood View supporters are keen to take over running the centre and have drawn up a business plan.

They say the village’s miners’ institute, which has recently undergone renovation, is too small for some uses.

Anyone interested in supporting Wood View Community Centre is asked to call Sylvia Buxton on 0191-373-1644.