VOLUNTEERS are celebrating after signing a lease to take over responsibility for running their community centre.

Members of Framwellgate Moor Community Association have signed an asset transfer deal to lease their community centre, on Front Street, Framwellgate Moor, Durham City, from Durham County Council for 30 years at a peppercorn rent.

The deal clears the way for the council to begin £200,000-worth of repair work in September, including to the roof, brickwork and heating.

Loading article content

The association itself will be carrying out other work, including installing double glazing, and has already received £37,000 towards the cost from three local county councillors at Durham Area Action Partnership (AAP).

Chairman Colin Hillary said: “I’m relieved.

“It’s been going on quite a long time now, we started on this back in 2010.

“There have been lots of improvements to the way we’ve run the centre.

“We’re quite happy with where we are and we’ve got high hopes for the future.”

Councillor Mark Wilkes said: “This is a fantastic day for the community.

“Just a few short years ago the community centre was threatened with closure.

“It’s great that there is now a bright future and we will continue to help promote the facility and work to bring in even more investment.”

Gordon Elliott, head of partnerships at the council, said: “The association has been fantastic to work with. To move to an asset transfer is really good.”