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The Hub - Teesdale

Tags: North East | The Hub - Teesdale

Teesdale The HubMain Contact:

Mr Keith Jones


01833 690150





I love it when a plan comes together!

Artical from local press...

Dawn of a new era Jan 11, 2011

The dreams of hundreds of dale youngsters are about to become a reality as the arrival of a new year heralds the dawn of a new era for Teesdale. For hundreds of local young people the wait is almost over. After years of planning and grafting, The Hub is due to be officially opened several days after the New Year. Nobody is looking forward to the opening ceremony more than youth worker Keith Jones from Teesdale Community Resources (TCR), the man behind the ambitious scheme.


Mr Jones, best known as Joe, has been working with teenagers in the area for more than 25 years and he always hoped he could help create something special for them. The turning point for the project came when TCR received a £5million grant from the Government scheme myplace. It meant that even the most ambitious of ideas put forward by the dale's young people could be realised. And after 14 months of work by the contractors - many from the Teesdale area - the award-winning building is ready to open. The main structure, with its curved grass covered roof and glass walls, was recently described by the president of the Royal Town Planning Institute as an exciting, eye-catching landmark "with charisma".


Inside The Hub young people will be able to take part in a range of activities including drama and dance, plus more practical skills can be learned in the spa area and the specially built garage workshop. Outside there is the BMX track, a kayak lake and an amphitheatre. A delighted Mr Jones said: "It's finally happening. Thanks to the efforts of a lot of young people in the area, Teesdale will have a world-class youth facility. As we move forward into 2011 we face many challenges because of the impending spending cuts but I have always believed that there are no problems, only opportunities; problems are just instances that require innovative and creative solutions."


Projects of this size are usually hit by setbacks and Mr Jones has encountered many along the way. "Despite trying to remain positive I must be honest and say that there have been times when I have asked myself ‘why do I bother?' and ‘is it really worth it?' and also times when I felt that I could happily just walk away from the battle. Yes, sometimes it has been a battle. Then it happens. A letter from a young person, parent or organisation drops through the letterbox the reading of which brings home firmly why we have to keep on going. I place such letters in my special drawer where I keep such mementos and which are re-read when feeling despondent or just a little down. And today was extra special, for the letter that dropped through the box today was addressed to ‘Joe At The Hub' - priceless."


If all goes to plan, The Hub will be opened at 11.11pm on January 11, by two TCR supporters. One TCR member who is 11 years old on January 11 will be joined by a second person picked randomly from the hundreds of people who have helped fund the scheme. And although the opening of The Hub marks the end of the build, Mr Jones says the hard work really begins on January 11. He added: "Here we are on the cusp of new era, a demonstration to all that determination - and patience can provide positive results. I would like to thank all who have supported us and made The Hub happen. Having The Hub is not the end; it's just the beginning; so keep on dreaming".



Power to the young people as forum gives community a say

A show of strength from dale teenagers helped to persuade a packed room of adults that their needs should be a priority when votes were cast to decide the most important issues in the dale.


The teens - mainly members of Teesdale Community Resources (TCR THE HUB) - turned out en masse to the Teesdale Action Partnership (TAP) meeting last month. The event was held to seek residents' views on what TAP's budget for 2011/2012 should be spent on. It was the second time TAP, which was set up by Durham County Council, had set priorities - but it was the first time young people had cast their votes alongside older members of the community. Children and young people came out top in the voting as the most important priority, followed by tourism and job prospects.


Keith ‘Joe' Jones, head of TCR, said: "In prioritising children and young people, TAP have clearly demonstrated that dialog with teenagers can enable their direct involvement in decision-making, putting them on an equal footing with the rest of the community. It is a fact that together with older people, young people are consistently affected by rural social exclusion. What we witnessed on that Wednesday night was ‘true community' collectively stating their hopes and aspirations with a common goal, to make Teesdale a better place to live, work, learn and play."


TAP was set up to give Teesdale people a stronger say in the area's future, following the demise of the former district council. The is the first time children and young people have topped the poll of priorities. In the first round of budget allocation, when the TAP was formed last year, older people's services was seen as the most important issue in Teesdale, with environment and street scene coming second and access to broadband third. At the time, TAP was the only area action partnership in the country not to have children and young people as one of its priorities. After some controversy over the decision, the need to focus on younger members of the dale was eventually added as another priority.


Along with the members of TCR, last month's event also saw young actors from the Turrets Youth Theatre performing a piece about the similarities between young and old people living in the dale. Mr Jones said: "The Turrets Youth Theatre demonstrated quite clearly that often it is the misrepresentation of youth that causes intergenerational friction, but as the piece went on, it was clear that we do indeed need young people, like the song says, ‘I believe the children are our future' - and especially now in rural Teesdale, this has never been more true."

IT'S the best building I have seen all year

£4.5m youth hub is ‘fabulous' say planning experts "IT'S the best building I have seen all year"

That was the response from the president of the UK's leading planning body when she visited The Hub last week. The team of influential planning experts from the Royal Town Planning Institute took a look around Barnard Castle's multi-million pound youth centre. It followed the building winning the organisation's award for sustainability.


Ann Skippers, who is the institute national president, said: "It's fabulous. I didn't really think there was going to be so much going on, but there's something for everyone. "And it's not just the inside, there are all the elements outside. Who would have thought that was a field just over a year ago would turn out like this?"


Ms Skippers visited The Hub with Julian Ringer, who is the chairman of the North East branch of the institute, said: "The Hub really stood out for us because of its green and environmental credentials. It encompasses three main factors - the community, the environment and the economy and it brings all three together."


The visitors were shown round The Hub by Keith ‘Joe' Jones from Teesdale Community Resources, David Brown from Browne Smith Baker architects, and Rod Hepplethwaite from Prism Planning. Mr Brown, who has worked closely with the young members of TCR to create The Hub, said: "We are absolutely delighted with the award. It is an indication of the quality of the team and the ethos that The Hub epitomises." Mr Hepplethwaite said: "It's an honour and well deserved. This is such a prestigious development for all of Barnard Castle and the surrounding areas. It is the sort of project where everyone goes that extra length and it's nice to see that the effort that has been put in has been recognised both regionally and now nationally."


Ms Skippers was on her first tour of the North East and she selected The Hub as one of only a handful of developments to visit. She said: "It's a really eye-catching landmark. When you are coming into Barnard Castle you catch a glimpse of it, it's really exciting. Then when you actually get inside of it, it's like the Tardis, it will be an amazing facility for the community. People have just had this vision and everyone has come together to make it a reality. It's definitely a building with charisma, and I don't think I've ever said that before."

Hub to offer beauty training

Teesdale School is teaming up with the country's leading hair and beauty company to offer a new range of vocational qualifications.


The Barnard Castle School will offer beauty service training at our new myplace project THE HUB, which is currently being built at Shaw Bank. Teesdale School headteacher Paul Harrison said: "We are thrilled to announce this partnership between Teesdale School and the national leader in the hair and beauty industry. We are constantly seeking to expand our post-16 provision to ensure that all students are able to leave our Sixth Form with the right qualifications and experience to enable them to achieve future success. This partnership, with the country's leading provider, will strengthen our learning offer immensely. We are delighted to be working with Saks in what we believe is only the very beginning of a long and fruitful partnership."


Head of Education at Saks Tina Rook said: "We are delighted to be working with Teesdale School to deliver outstanding training in the beauty sector. We are particularly excited to be working with a school which shares our vision for vocational excellence. Our staff are looking forward to working with young people who share their enthusiasm for the beauty industry and their commitment to the highest standards of customer service."

Saks will administer and deliver the VTCT Level 2 Diploma in Beauty Services to Teesdale School Sixth Form students from this month. The course will be run at a fully equipped salon complete with state-of-the art industry-standard facilities designed by young people at THE HUB. The training will cover the full range of beauty treatments and will be delivered by Saks' experienced professionals. Students will also be able to regularly visit the Saks Academy in Darlington to further develop their skills.


June Site Update
Steady streams of young people visit the site (some involved in its construction too!) as the Hub develops. It gives me great pleasure to see so many young people I have worked with on the design of the facilities actually involved in its construction.  (see photo gallery below)


Cheers Joe
Teesdale Radio

Keep upto date with progress on the Hub.  Follow links below for interviews on Teesdale Radio:


13th May 2010
17th March 2010
21st February 2010


Cheers Joe

Site Tour Video

Young people from TCR give a tour of the Hub constuction to Northern Echo reporter Will Roberts. To see what they said follow this link:


The Northern Echo Video Link

Site update by Keith (Joe) Jones

I just visited the site and was pleased to see some of TCR members from the area are involved in the actual building. (See photo gallery).


I love it when a plan comes together.. Cheers Joe

Work gets under way at The Hub project

The HubConstruction work has now started at The Hub in Teesdale, County Durham. The centre will offer young people aged 13-19 the opportunity to take part in a range of indoor and outdoor pursuits on a 15-acre site of natural beauty in rural Barnard Castle.



Press Release - The Hub
World-class youth centre puts County Durham 'In the Zone'




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