A FORMER leisure centre that was saved from closure has been taken over by a new team of trustees hoping to turn it back into a community hotspot.

Ferryhill Community Partnership took over Ferryhill Community Hub in 2011 after Durham County Council closed it to save money.

Now, after six years and a reshuffle, a new line-up of trustees have stepped in to take responsibility for the building on Lambton Road, in Ferryhill.

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Shaun Hillary, chairman of the trustees, said: “The main objective is to bring the facility back to life focusing on sports and educational activities for the people of Ferryhill.”

The building has been renamed Ferryhill Sports and Education Centre, and plans are underway to replace old signage.

Laura Davies, trustee and secretary of Ferryhill Community Partnership, said: “We are in the process of coming up with a design and hope to have planning permission to change the name on the side of the building within the next six months.”

Mrs Davies founded Child’s Play private nursery which is based inside the building.

She added: “The partnership already has big plans for the building and we are looking forward to making it centre of the community again.”

Paul Eddy, trustee and founder of Seconds Out Boxing Academy also based in the centre, added: “This should have happened a long time ago, the building has been treading water for two years now, so new faces and new ideas can only mean good things.”

Ken Tait, who runs the indoor bowls club at the centre has taken on the role of treasurer and Harry Richardson has remained a trustee.

Andrew Cockburn, who worked at the site when it was a leisure centre, has also joined the team as centre manager.

Mr Cockburn said: “When I worked here it was buzzing all the time, the building was always full with parties, matches and events, you would struggle to get a parking space.

“It would be brilliant to get it back to that level again, everybody has great ideas so I’m really happy to be back.”

The partnership is looking for volunteers, for more information contact the centre on: 01740-654123.