A youth centre in Hartlepool has been renamed in honour of a local businessman who was committed to his community who died suddenly in 2011.

Hartlepool's Boys Welfare Club, which is run by Hartlepool Borough Council, has been renamed the Gus Robinson Centre in a ceremony attended by Gus's wife Judith and many of his colleagues and friends.

Judith, who has a son and three daughters, said: “This building was so important to Gus because it was formerly the Boys Welfare Club where he spent so much time. 

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“He was regularly here educating the children of the town in his own way. He had such a passion for the youth here in Hartlepool." 

"The building is owned by the Gus Robinson Foundation, a charity set up in his name following his sudden death in 2011. It is an open access youth club and library among other things as part of the Throston Youth Project.  

"After discussions between our charity, the Gus Robinson Foundation, and the PFC Trust, who we work closely with, we all felt it was fitting to name this building the Gus Robinson Centre.”

The Northern Echo: Attendees of the ceremony at Throston Youth Project looking at old photos of Gus.Attendees of the ceremony at Throston Youth Project looking at old photos of Gus. (Image: Tom Banks)

Gus and Judith's son Daniel became a trustee for the centre when Hartlepool Youth Service began operating at the site on Wiltshire Way.

Gary Riches, assistant principal at Hartlepool College of Further Education, was tearful as he recalled how his working life started under Gus’ wing at Gus Robinson Developments, a construction, plumbing and electrical company.  

Gary, speaking to those in attendance, said: “The Gus Robinson Centre truly does mark the legacy of Gus and the exceptional work he did across communities within the town, particularly with the work he did for young people. 

"I’m now privileged to work at Hartlepool College where part of our mission is to transform lives and I’m proud to say that Gus Robinson transformed my life. Gus employed me as a fresh-faced teenager by offering me an electrical apprenticeship in the early 2000s. 

"I gained further experience on site before I was promoted to the office environment and management. Gus would regularly check-in with me asking how I was, could he help with anything or was there any qualifications I wanted to study towards?”

The Northern Echo: Judith Stannard, the late Gus Robinson's wife, in front of the Gus Robinson framed photograph after the unveiling ceremony. Judith Stannard, the late Gus Robinson's wife, in front of the Gus Robinson framed photograph after the unveiling ceremony. (Image: Tom Banks)

George Stannard, a trustee of the Gus Robinson Foundation and PFC Trust, introduced Gary to everyone else in attendance at the event. These included Jeannette Henderson, Finance Director,  who was a long-serving employee of Gus Robinson Developments, Linda Jeffrey who was Gus’ first PA, Hartlepool College’s assistant principal, Shaun Hope, who is also chairman of both the Gus Robinson Foundation and PFC Trust, the PFC Trust’s Joe Dunne and Hartlepool Borough Council’s targeted youth lead Sarah McCluskey.

George said: “Sadly family members were unable to attend the unveiling but are extremely proud that this lasting tribute to Gus has happened and will be pleased to visit the site at a later date. 

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"Gus, who was 'A Man of the People', was passionate about this building and from today it will be rightly known in his name. 

"Last night up to 40 children were here taking part in various activities and the sports hall is in use all of the time. This centre is so important to the local community and we now have this fantastic memorial to Gus too.”

Gus Robinson Developments started out in the 1970s and developed to a point where more than 160 people were employed and it had a fleet of 40 vans. It also had a Spanish Property Sales Division.


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Gus had a huge passion for boxing and was a well-known promoter in the sport. He was also a prison visitor/governor and Hartlepool Hospital NHS Trust Governor. 

He stood for the Conservative Party against Peter Mandelson and Arthur Scargill in the General Election in 2001, coming second with 21% of the vote.