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Friday, January 28, 2011

Council plans to forge closer links

A proposed joint trust involving the authority and the Memorial Hall off Darras Road would help secure the building's future.
It could also allow the council to move its base back to the centre of Ponteland as having offices are part of the discussions (it is currently located in the Meadowfield Industrial Estate).
Ponteland Mayor Robin Ramsay said legal advice has been taken and further meetings will be held with the hall committee on the issue.
"The thinking behind forming a trust is to put the Memorial Hall on a more sustainable footing," he added.
"The income it receives just about keeps it going, although we do subsidise it each year, but looking to the longer term there are much needed improvements to be carried out and a new central heating system is required.
"This is at an early stage, but if it goes ahead we would look to provide funding through a long term loan, so the burden on the precept would be small.
"It's a valued community building used by a range of local groups and we want it to continue this role for generations to come.
"At the moment we are a little out on a limb by being in Meadowfield, but it's hard to get office space in the centre of Ponteland.
"Having offices in the Memorial Hall would solve that problem and we would be next to our main asset – Ponteland Park."