A GROUP of villagers who are trying to open a community centre are holding an event to share their progress.

Sherburn Hill Hub wants to get a new centre for the village, which has been left with few community facilities since the closure of the school earlier this year.

The group, which had previously been trying to secure a new building for the project, is now hoping to take on the vacant school building.

It has been working with Durham County Council and Durham Area Action Partnership (AAP) to see if it is possible to turn the school site into a community venue.

Wendy Martin, from the group, said: “At the minute we have to show there is enough support because we have to put together a business plan. We have to make sure it would be financially viable and sustainable.

“We’ve been doing questionnaires and asking people if they would support and use it. We thought we would have an event to give people a chance to come along and ask questions and give us their ideas. There’s overwhelming support for this.

“We did think we might get a new building for this but now the school has come up as a possible venue it’s a great opportunity.”

Previously the group has looked at several options, including a new-build centre at the village play area.

The village’s previous community centre closed in 2012 amid concerns it could pose a health risk to those using it.

When Durham County Council voted to close the school site in May, the authority said it would explore the option of using the building as a community centre.

It has earmarked a contribution of £400,000 to develop a new community centre for the village, which could be used to alter the school to make it more suitable as a community venue.

The event is taking place on Saturday at the Salvation Army Hall.

People are welcome to drop in between 1pm and 3pm to share their views on what they would like to see at the centre and to ask questions.

It will include free bacon sandwiches and homemade cakes, as well as free activities for children.

Anyone who cannot attend but would like to contribute their views should email sherburnhillhub@gmail.com.