A popular community hub which has been running for over a decade has announced it will be closing its doors.

The Old Co-op Community Hun in Loftus will be closing its doors after serving the community for 12 years, but not before making two generous donations to two charities totalling £20,000.

The organisation, which shares a building on Loftus High Street with the Middlesbrough FC Foundation, will be handed over to new operators.

Tony Gatehouse, 67, chief executive of the charity, explained the decision to wrap up the organisation.

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He said: "Having served our community for 12 years, it was time to retire as our team were all of 'a certain age'.

"The Old Co-op building is now in the hands of new operators, who have maintained the ground floor as community services, including Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation and the Martial Arts Centre and I understand, intend to provide homes on the upper floors in due course.

"So, as our last charitable act as TOCCB, before we deregister as a charity, we will pass our remaining funds - in excess of £20,000 - to two local charities - Footprints in the Community and Teesside Family Foundation.

"Both these charities do enormous amounts of good within our community and our intent here is to further enable them to continue their various excellent works, particularly during this current period of financial difficulty."

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While the hub has closed, MFC Foundation will continue to service the local community.

Well known for its popular Hub café and charity shop, TOCCB had a significant impact on residents and the news of its closure many saddened.

The hub various services such has also employment, job search and training facilities, mental health support, a drugs clinic, and served as a foodbank.

It has also helped with start up support for new local businesses, local councillor clinics, MP surgeries as well as other social events including bingo, indoor bowls, singing and music classes.

Speaking of his gratitude to those who have supported the hub, Mr Gatehouse said: "Finally, may we extend our sincere and grateful thanks to all those who have supported us and helped us to help others over the years, in particular our staff and volunteers, our many customers, and donators of furniture and household goods for our shop, food for our foodbank and sometimes, cash donations too.

"The generosity of the local community was consistently shown in so many ways over the years and is a clear testament to the community spirit which abounds locally."

The building that was the Co-op department store, also continues to host an excellent Martial Art Centre providing first class development for children and adults including one Kallum Bateman who was recently selected to represent Great Britain in the taekwondo European Championships.

Speaking on it's closure and the effect the hub had on the community, Simon Clarke, Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: "On behalf of everybody here in Loftus and beyond I want to say a massive thank you to Tony and all his team for everything they have done over the past 12 years.

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"In that time they have helped literally thousands of people in everything from mental health support, helping people find work, helping people in financial difficulty, helping small businesses get started and offering training facilities.

"Their departure from Loftus is a big loss to the area but I am delighted that, in their act, the Old Co-Op is handing over £20,000 to two local charities.

"I particularly want to commend Tony for everything he's done for this town and I wish him a happy retirement."