THEY think it’s hall over, and the wait for a seaside town’s new civic centre to be officially opened is now.
Seaham Town Hall was unveiled during a day of celebrations held at the former Red Star Club, given a £1million revamp to prepare it for its new lease of life.
School and community groups were invited along to a packed party to showcase the venue yesterday.
The hall is the new home of Seaham Town Council, as well as being a community hub and event space, following the authority deeming its offices in Adelaide Row to be no longer fit for purpose.
Deputy town clerk Paul Fletcher said: “This is the result of five years’ work, and it’s nice to see the potential of the rooms being used.
“For example, we had a history society dinner for 80 people the other night, and before that, we’d had exercise classes in.
“The big function hall space has all these groups in it today, and that just goes to show how it can be used by the whole community.”
Other events hosted at the hall have included engagement parties and live music nights.
A cafe run by Durham restaurant firm Oldfields is due to open at Easter, with the firm also responsible for catering at functions.
Mayor Bruce Burn said: “It’s a great honour to open the building, especially with all these people who arrived to join us.
“It has been well used since its unofficial opening, which is good to see.”
The schools that joined in the launch celebrations were Seaham School of Technology, New Seaham Academy and Ropery Walk, St Cuthbert’s, Seaham Trinity and Westlea primaries.
Groups that championed their activities included East Durham History Group, the heritage coast team, guides, sea cadets and town’s Royal British Legion branch, the Seaham Have Your Say’s C21 youth group, One Point hub and Seaham Music Academy.
The remodelling of the hall was paid for through council funds, as well as £170,000 from Yuill Homes and from Keepmoat in return for building their parts of East Shore Village, with a further £40,000 being pledged by the town’s six county councillors for a stage.
Events coming to the hall soon include a sportsman’s dinner on Friday, April 3, and a gig by tribute act the Antarctic Monkeys on Saturday, April 11.