Sunderland MP opens school’s new community hub

Briget Philipson MP opens the Burnside Academy's new community building with younsters Faith Mullan, 4 and Paige Burns, 5.
Briget Philipson MP opens the Burnside Academy's new community building with younsters Faith Mullan, 4 and Paige Burns, 5.

A new community hub for Sunderland is up and running for visitors.

Bridget Phillipson, MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, went along to Burnside Academy to carry out the official re-opening of the new hub.

Briget Philipson MP opens the Burnside Academy's new community building. Acting headteacher Leona Kelly

Briget Philipson MP opens the Burnside Academy's new community building. Acting headteacher Leona Kelly

Alongside Acting Headtecher, Leona Kelly, Ms Phillipson unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion.

Burnside successfully secured £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund and the Houghton Ward Community Chest grant to renovate the building and they are now encouraging as many groups as possible to go along and use it.

The hub is a multi-purpose venue which school chiefs say will be an asset to the local community and would be an ideal venue for voluntary or community group meetings and training conferences for up to 40 delegates.

It is fully equipped with a projector and speakers, as well as a kitchen and toilet facilities and direct access from the car park.

They’ve created something special for the school and the wider community in Houghton

MP Bridget Phillipson

Catering from light refreshments to buffet lunches can be arranged via Northern Taste Catering.

Little Acorns, the school’s new parent and toddler group meet in the hub each Tuesday from 1.15pm to 2.45pm and new members are welcome.

Community Chest grants are designed to provide support for ‘one off’ projects that are of benefit to the local community.

Ward councillors have a grant allocation to award to community groups and organisations to deliver activities, events or purchase equipment. Projects must address local priorities and provide genuine community benefit or address community need at a ward level.

Briget Philipson MP opens the Burnside Academy's new community building with head boy and girl Ashton Rivers, 10 and Italia Naisbitt, 11

Briget Philipson MP opens the Burnside Academy's new community building with head boy and girl Ashton Rivers, 10 and Italia Naisbitt, 11

Ms Phillipson said: “It was an honour to visit Burnside Academy to re-open their fantastic new Community Hub.

“I know that this space will prove to be a real asset to the local community and businesses in our area, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of Community Chest funding allocated by local Labour councillors in Houghton Ward and the Big Lottery Fund.

“I want to congratulate Acting Headteacher Leona Kelly and her team for all their hard work – they’ve really created something special for the school and the wider community in Houghton.”

Hire of the hub is £15 per hour, which is negotiable for block, extended or after 6pm bookings, and anyone interested should contact Burnside Academy office on 0191 553 6510.