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COMMUNITY HUB: Plans to give Deckham pub a new lease of life

COMMUNITY HUB: Plans to give Deckham pub a new lease of life

The Shakespeare Inn, Fife Street, Gateshead, Image: Chronicle Live

Plans to transform a Deckham pub into a community hub and housing are set to be approved next week despite an out cry from residents.

Charity Handcrafted is behind proposals to give the Shakespeare Inn a new lease of life.

The Durham based organisation helps people to develop skills, build confidence and “engage in positive activity”.

It does this through practical training and creative activities which run from 9am until 4pm on weekdays.

Handcrafted wants to put four one-bedroom flats on the first floor of the hostelry.

A report, set to be heard by the authority’s planning committee on Wednesday,  said that it had five letters of objection raising fears about anti-social behaviour, drugs, criminal activity and being intimidated.

A 152-signature petition objecting to the loss of the Fife Street pub has also been lodged with the authority.

However, 17 letters of support for the scheme have also been sent to the council.

Supporters say that the charity is “well established” with a “proven record in training people in new skills” as well as helping to house vulnerable people.

The authority’s planning department has recommended approval for the proposals saying ” the development has been able to
demonstrate that it is acceptable in principle”.

A leaflet distributed by the charity to near-by properties explained the proposals.

In it the organisation described how the premises could also be used for a community cafe which would be open to the general public.

Alongside the cafe, it said, a new training kitchen will offer cookery classes to people being trained by the charity.

Behind the cafe, Handcrafted will open what it describes as a ‘makers’ space’ where it will provide the tools and knowledge to help people learn about woodworking and discover working with other materials.

The leaflet added: “These projects will be open to new referrals and be offered alongside our popular women’s craft group where we will look at soap making, resin casting, flower pressing and many other exciting crafts.”


Words: Herbert Soden, Local Democracy Reporter

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