Community centre plans move forward with spades expected in ground by February

The community centre would be built next door to the GP Surgery on Stokesley Road
The community centre would be built next door to the GP Surgery on Stokesley Road -Credit:Google Maps

Plans for a long-awaited community facility in Nunthorpe are set to be drawn up with spades expected in the ground by February.

The proposed new building, next to the new GP surgery at Nunthorpe, could include multi-functional community rooms, office space, a kitchen and a garden. The next stage, recommended for approval by Middlesbrough Council's Executive on Wednesday, is the design process and site survey prior to submission of a planning application in September this year.

A tender process to find a developer partner would also be launched prior to the final build phase, expected to begin in February 2025. A parish councillor welcomed the latest development but said he hoped the facility will cater for all ages.

If accepted by council leaders, a 25-year lease agreement would be drawn up for the winning bid consortium led by Nunthorpe Parish Council with Nunthorpe Community Council and Nunthorpe Institute. Council valuation and estates officers will work with the consortium to further develop the proposals ahead of drafting the agreement.

Nunthorpe parish councillor Jon Rathmell said they had been pushing for centre for "a lot of years" and he was pleased to see it moving forwards. However, he said it was "disappointing" the plans had been scaled down from those originally envisaged, due to increased building costs.

"It's good that's it a consortium of all the different groups however I do have reservations that it will become something for the older people and nothing for younger generations, who have nowhere to go," he said. "They [the consortium] also needs to focus on their needs and requirements."

He said it shouldn't become "just a room for knitters because we have church halls for that" and the consortium should "think outside the box". He suggested the establishment of a young people's committee "to discuss what they would like to see after discussing it with their peers".

Nunthorpe ward councillor Mieka Smiles welcomed the latest developments and said she was pleased it had been designed in a way that the community centre could be expanded in the future. “This is a project that’s taken such a very long time to come to fruition but we’re all very hopeful that the timeline can now be adhered to and we’ll see spades in the ground by February," she said.

“I - along with Simon Clarke MP and the previous mayor Andy Preston - managed to secure the funding for this project but it must be said that the effort by the wider community to make this happen has been absolutely immense. Along with help from community volunteers, I also successfully bid - and awarded the money for - the community garden which will be planted alongside the centre. This will be another wonderful asset for the whole of our community.”

The project is being funded by £750,000 from the Town’s Fund grant, £100,000 from the council and £115,000 in section 106 developer contributions. The process to identity a main contractor for the construction project will be undertaken via a competitive tender process.

A report to Executive said: "There has been a long standing requirement for new community space to be developed within the Nunthorpe area. The need for such space has been communicated by residents,community groups and local elected members for some time.

"The facility is anticipated to start construction in early 2025 and complete construction by early 2026." A six-week consultation on two location options was completed in January last year, along with appraisal by officers. The preferred location off Stokesley Road was selected over the Nunthorpe and Marton Playing Fields Association site on Guisborough Road.

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