A CLUBHOUSE could be transformed into a town hall and community hub under new proposals.
Seaham Town Council has applied for permission to revamp and extend the Red Star Club building in a move to create a similar venue to Shotton Hall, which is run by its Peterlee counterpart.
The additional space would include a large function room, changing rooms, conference facilities, café and services for users of the nearby park as well as a new home for the council itself.
Office space could also be rented out to small to medium businesses and the existing bar areas would be improved.
The council has suggested the function room could also host events such as drama productions, which could give theatre groups left “homeless” by the loss of the Vane Tempest Social Welfare Centre a new venue to use.
It also hopes the plans, which have been submitted to Durham County Council, will give the town a new and much-needed community complex.
In addition to Vane Tempest, which was closed down and bulldozed after health and safety concerns, Rock House has also been closed and sold because of its deteriorating state,
Council leader Eddie Mason said: “This new community centre will offer opportunities for excellent integrated facilities for all sections of the community.”
The building is owned by the trustees of the park – in turn owned by the council – and the bar which had previously been run by a tenant closed at Christmas.
The council has said the cost of the redevelopment would be covered by the sale of its Adelaide Row offices.
It has previously investigated how its existing base could be modified, but members agreed the building is not the flexible space it would like to offer out to residents.
The authority had also considered moving into the new St John’s building in the town centre, but has decided against it, as it would have meant renting, rather than it owning.
The clubhouse is on the edge of the town park and a short distance from the skate park, which opened last summer, and the new play area, which is due to open this week.
The council is selling its buildings in Princess Road Cemetery and moving its parks department to the new cemetery on Lord Byron’s Walk.
Plans to build four homes on the Princess Road land have been approved.