A COMMUNIITY leader is hopeful a £4.4m youth centre will be opened in January despite weather causing delays to the build.

The Hub, on Shaw Bank on the outskirts of Barnard Castle, has been hampered by the snow in recent weeks, but Keith Jones, from Teesdale Community Resources (TCR) paid tribute to contractors Clugston for continuing to work through the bad weather.

The building project was hampered earlier in the year by heavy snow and rain in January and February, meaning that the initial opening day of 10am on October 10 this year had to be cancelled.

Mr Jones said: "The snow has really been holding things up for some time now but I have to give big credit to the contractors Clugston who have pulled out all the stops to keep things going.

"They have worked really hard to make sure things like the electricity, gas and water can be connected up.

"Most of the main work to the building is complete but things like the paths, the surface of the road and the car park can’t be finished because of the snow and frost.

"It’s a bit of a nightmare really."

Mr Jones said he was hopeful that TCR staff could move in to the office areas of the centre later this month, with a formal opening due to take place at 11.11am on January 11 2011.

The Hub will have music, drama and beauty areas, and a cafe and accommodation.

Outside there will be a kayaking lake, nature area and BMX track.

Mr Jones, with help from dozens of young members of TCR, secured the funding from the government’s Myplace programme.

This week Children’s Minister Tim Loughton confirmed that the Department for Education has secured £134m capital funding to enable all 57 remaining projects planned nationally under the myplace programme to continue.

However Mr Jones said the funding for The Hub was never at risk.

"We got our business plan in early and it was very well grounded before all of the cuts started to happen.

"I would like to think it was good planning but we were lucky with the timing too."

TCR is still looking for the public to buy a £5 brick to help fund the day-to-day running costs of The Hub as well as interior fittings. One of the people who buys a brick will be picked at random to officially open the facility. For more details call 01833-690150 or visit www.tcrhub.org