COMEDIAN and radio presenter Sue Sweeney was impressed when she unveiled a community room after it had undergone a major refurbishment.

The communal room at Gibside, Chester-le-Street, which is run by Cestria Community Housing, was closed for six weeks for a £23,000 revamp.

The work included an improved internal layout, a fully fitted kitchen, new windows and doors, rewiring, new heating system, redecoration and new furniture and fixtures.

Radio Newcastle presenter Ms Sweeney, who unveiled a plaque, said: "This is a magnificent new facility for local residents to enjoy.

"Communal rooms such as Gibside become the heart of a community and I praise the work of Cestria Community Housing for refurbishing the room to such a high standard.

"I am delighted to have been invited to come along today to officially open this new facility and offer my congratulations to everybody involved in its development."

Cestria chairman Paul Tinnion said: "One of our promises to tenants during transfer was our commitment to refurbish existing communal rooms across the district.

"We are pleased to unveil our fourth refurbished communal facility for local residents living in and around the Gibside estate.

"The room will become a community hub for local residents and businesses and I hope that they enjoy these fabulous new facilities for many years to come."

A raffle at the event raised £527 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.