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Operator sought for new Southlands Centre

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Potential operators for a new Middlesbrough community hub are being sought.

The new facility will replace the former Southlands Centre which was demolished to make way for new development.

Local residents and councillors successfully campaigned for a replacement on the same site to deliver much-needed leisure and other activities.

Plans for the ‘new Southlands' have seen £1.2m allocated to the project from Middlesbrough Council's Capital Programme, alongside a further £500,000 from the Government's Towns Fund.

Now the search is on for an operator to run the new hub once the development is complete.

Potential candidates should have experience in areas such as running community venues or sports groups for example.

The ideal applicant will be an organisation or group that understands - and is rooted in - the communities it serves as opposed to a facilities management organisation.

Councillor Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Deputy Mayor and Executive member for Culture & Communities, said: "It's really very exciting that we are moving closer to our goal of an ambitious new community centre for the community.

"There's no doubt how important the Southlands Centre was to local residents, and the new community hub will be a fitting replacement.

"This is a great opportunity for the right operator to make real difference and one that stands the local area in good stead for many years to come."

Expressions of interest are currently being sought from appropriately constituted groups interested in running and managing the new community facility. The Stage 1 forms must be returned by email no later than 5pm on Friday, July 23, to Angela Cooper at Angela_Cooper@middlesbrough.gov.uk.

For more information, contact Regeneration Officer Elizabeth Green at elizabeth_green@middlesbrough.gov.uk.

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