The Northumberland Church of England Academy (NCEA) has joined forces with School Lettings Solutions (SLS) to open its doors to the community.

The NCEA is available for sports clubs, fitness classes, dance workshops, social groups and birthday parties, as well as larger events such as conferences and wedding receptions.

As a result, its facilities at the Josephine Butler Campus in Ashington – which include a main hall and sports hall, 3G football pitch, specialist classrooms, hydrotherapy pool and trampoline room – are now available to hire.

Andrew Day, NCEA executive director, said: ‘We’re very excited to be opening up to the wider community. We’re proud of the facilities we offer our students, such as our state-of-the-art 3G pitch and hydrotherapy pool, and it makes sense to us that they are not lying unused on evenings and weekends. The fact that this will help us generate a new income stream will be beneficial too.’

SLS partners with schools, academies and colleges to fully manage their facilities at zero cost to the organisations, while linking them with local community groups in need of affordable space. It deals with bookings and staffs the facilities to ensure that rooms are secure and ready for the next school day.

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