A £50,000 funding boost from Ecclesiastical Insurance has helped the Trust achieve its aims of creating a new social space at the Linskill Centre. In 2020, the Trust was one of ten charities selected out of more than 1,000 entries to be awarded a £50,000 boost as part of Ecclesiastical’s annual Movement for Good awards which gives £1million to charities. Entitled Project Langley the proposal was to transform an old IT Suite into a social serviced space to meet the needs of its community.

Project Langley commenced in December 2020 with the stripping out of the IT Suite, lowering of ceiling, installation of electrics, floor refurbishment, decoration and finally furniture installation. The Langley Room, named in keeping with house names from the original school, is a high-specification space with an interior design and décor suitable for social and business events.

Simeon Ripley, Chief Executive at Linskill and North Tyneside Community Development Trust commented, “As a Trust we were keen to develop this under-utilised space and maximise the potential of the adjoining room Café 32 and had been exploring a loan option to proceed. However, the Movement for Good Award enabled the Trust to proceed with the project immediately and I am delighted that despite various lockdowns the room has been completed. Venue hire is a key revenue stream for our charitable trust and the connection of the Langley Room and Café 32 has increased the capacity and diversity of use for both spaces for events and functions.”

The Langley Room will be officially unveiled to stakeholders at an event in early July although the response to the room has already been very positive. Many tenant organisations, local business groups and community programmes have already expressed an interest in hiring the space. The Langley Room becomes the latest addition within the Trust’s venue hire portfolio, alongside the popular Trevelyan Hall, Burnett Hall and a suite of meeting rooms. Pre lockdown the Linskill Centre regularly attracted over 160,000 visitors per year through its tenants, office space, nursery, café, meeting rooms and community activities.

Mark Hews, Group Chief Executive at Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, said: “It’s heart-warming to hear how Ecclesiastical’s £50,000 Movement for Good awards are helping to make a huge difference to the incredible work that charities do, especially in these difficult times. We’re delighted to have enabled the Linskill and North Tyneside Community Development Trust to transform its Langley Room into a state-of-the-art social space to meet the needs of the local community. Ecclesiastical, the fourth largest corporate donor in the UK, is a unique financial services group. We are owned by a charity which means all available profits can be given to the good causes that are so important to our customers. As a company whose purpose is to contribute to the greater good of society, charitable giving is at the heart of our business.”

The Langley Room will be available to hire from Wednesday 7th July 2021 on an hourly, half day or daily basis.

For more information on the Langley Room or venue hire at the Linskill Centre in North Shields please contact the Customer Service Team on 0191 257 8000, visit www.linskill.org or email info@linskill.org