A NEW Citizens’ Advice Bureau has breathed new life into a Seaham building after an £80,000 revamp.
The former day centre in Shakespeare Street, Seaham, has been rewired, re-plumbed and refurbished in order to house the CAB, which has a free, decade-long lease on the town centre property.
So far, more than 600 people have been helped by a team of 12 volunteers.
It is open three days a week, but hopes to extend to five days and add a cafe to its services.
Neil Bradbury, chief executive of Greater Durham CAB, said: “We are really starting to pick up a lot of support from the people of Seaham.
“It’s been really good for our existing Peterlee volunteers who are from Seaham, as they don’t have to travel to Peterlee now, they can just walk here.”
The previous home of the Seaham CAB Rock House was condemned and subsequent home Caroline House was also closed.
Mr Bradbury added: “They were both grotty and sterile premises, whereas this is somewhere people can come and be comfortable, have a cup of tea and talk about their problems.
“We’ve had a positive response from volunteers and clients, as well as councillors and others who have supported us.”
As part of its service in Seaham, the CAB offers access to solicitors for help with legal issues, debt advice and financial problems.
The centre also hosts training sessions for disabled people, run by Northern Rights.
The centre is open on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 10am to 1pm. The CAB’s Advice Line, which can be used to book appointments, is available between 10am and 4pm on 08444 111 444.