One of South Tyneside’s original community centres has been given a new lease of life with the assistance of a North East law firm.
Ocean Road Community Centre provides community activities including sports, health and fitness, social events and the Connexions jobs and education service to over 1000 people of all ages and abilities per week. The centre has now signed a lease with assistance from North East commercial property law specialists PG Legal, which secures its stay and support for locals.
The centre opened in 1970 and has since moved location and extended its building to accommodate the demand for its services.
Liz Stephenson, from South Shields, has been centre manager since 2006. She said: “We are delighted to have secured a new lease to ensure that the centre is able to provide the much-loved services to the people of South Tyneside for the foreseeable future. The terms were all arranged to suit our specific needs, which has enabled us to continue operating. Harmeet, from PG Legal, guided us step-by-step through the process which we couldn’t have done without his support.”
Following government cuts in 2013 the community centre was forced to become self-sustainable, which it has achieved thanks to the support of the local community and its service users.
Liz continued: “Since becoming an independently operated centre we have been very fortunate to have received an overwhelming amount of support form our service users. Our main stream of income comes through those who hire rooms, pay subs to take part in activities and those who purchase the homecooked food from our café.”
PG Legal said: “Ocean Road Community Centre provides fantastic services which truly support the local community. It is very important for my colleagues and I at PG Legal to assist such organisations to maintain the community spirit which very much defines our region. We look forward to continuing our great relationship with Liz and the team so they are able to provide the very best opportunities for the people of South Tyneside.”
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