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Business & Economy

One of Newcastle’s oldest institutions appoints a youth board

Ten members of the North East business community have been appointed to a Youth Board, to help shape a major redevelopment

The Common Room, which has been taken over by the Mining Institute in Newcastle, is leading a £7.1 million transformation of Neville Hall into a building that will celebrate the region’s engineering heritage while providing a range of spaces for events, workshops, lectures and training.

Liz Mayes, chief executive of The Common Room, said: “We’ve appointed young people who have experience in a range of areas of North East business and industry to The Common Room Youth Board. The Board will directly influence decision-making as we work towards creating a space which will celebrate our region’s engineering achievements and which will also inspire the next generation of engineers and innovators.”

The Youth Board members, who are aged between 20 and 30, bring expertise in fields ranging from digital construction to marketing and education. As well as supporting the development of The Common Room, they will also gain skills in governance, financial management and project management.

Youth Board member Jane Hibbert (pictured), who is BIM Team Manager at Newcastle-based construction consultancy NBS, said: “As part of my role at NBS I already work with schools in the region, introducing young people to the construction industry, and digital construction in particular, and I want to do more of this with The Common Room.

“The Common Room isn’t just a magnificent building, it’s home to a huge amount of the North East’s heritage and it’s important to be able to share this with people of all ages.”

The ten members of the Youth Board are Alexandra Anslow, executive assistant and programme coordinator at Dance City; Alice Hanby, collections and engagement officer at Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum; Jane Hibbert, BIM team manager at NBS, Andrea Hillery, programme manager at Common Purpose; Adam Leonard, mechanical fitter apprentice at Caterpillar Articulated Trucks; Stevie Jane McLaughlin, continuous improvement engineer at Tharsus; Charlotte Murray, admissions manager at North East Futures UTC, Jennifer Scullion PR and marketing manager at Tolent; Phil Scott, head of software development at NBS; and David Treleaven, CNC machinist apprentice at BEL Engineering.

Liz Mayes added:A huge part of our aim with The Common Room is to help develop the skills of the next generation of North East engineers, so it’s vital that younger members of our business community are involved as we shape the project.”

In November 2018, The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded £600,000 to The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers to undertake an extensive development phase. In July 2018, The Common Room of the Great North was awarded £4.1 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund to revitalise the Grade II listed Mining Institute, transforming it into The Common Room.