THE finishing touches are being made to a new £1million town hall.
The former Seaham Red Star Club in Seaham Town Park is being transformed into a community hub.
In addition to becoming a new base for town’s council staff it will also offer groups and clubs a place to host their activities.
A large hall can be divided into sections so it can host events including wedding receptions, theatre productions and exercise classes.
There are also changing rooms, a kitchen, meeting spaces and toilets.
Bosses are also searching for a company to take on a ground floor cafe and cater for events.
The building had been due to open this week, but council leaders have asked for a rethink on the designer’s plans for the path into the main entrance, which has delayed the opening for three weeks.
Councillor Eddie Bell, leader of the council and a Durham County Council ward member, said: “For the size of Seaham, this community facility will be a boon, as anybody who comes to view it will see.
“It is absolutely necessary for the town and it’s people who have aspirations and ambitions, particularly in the performing arts or who wants to hold a community event.
“It’s a place the people of Seaham can be proud of.
“We invited some of the performing arts people to have a look around and they sent us an email later to say how fantastic they thought it was, so we’ve already had some positive feedback.”
Mayor Bruce Burn Snr added: “It’s something that’s really needed in Seaham.
“A lot of people have been having a look at it from the outside, and we’re hoping they will be happy with what’s inside.
“It’s in an excellent location as well.”
In recent years the town has lost Rock House, which was condemned due to health and safety concerns, and the Vane Tempest Social Welfare Centre, which needed substantial improvements at a high cost.
Drainage issues, which caused a delay in the development, have been overcome and a ‘moat’ around the building to divert water away.
It has been built with council cash, £170,000 from Yuill Homes and Keepmoat and £40,000 has been pledged by the town’s six county councillors to buy a stage.
The council decided to make the move to the former club because the Adelaide Row offices were no longer fit for purpose.