The Common Room appoints youth board to advise on redevelopment of Neville Hall

May 4, 2020 @ 16:05 by Richard Dawson

The Common Room has appointed three new members to its youth board to help shape the redevelopment of a Newcastle landmark.

Helder Costa, Mohima Khan and Megan Wilson have all joined the board and will help lead the regeneration of Grade II-listed Neville Hall, formerly known as The Mining Institute.

Next door to the much-loved Lit and Phil, The Mining Institute is currently under refurbishment and will be transformed into a new hub for innovation and engineering.

The Common Room was set up in 2017 and awarded more than £7 million in funding to conserve the listed building, refurbish its ground-floor reading rooms and securely house its archive and collections.

Liz Mayes, chief executive of The Common Room, said: “The Common Room will be a place not only for the North East engineering sector to come together but also for the next generation of innovators and engineers to be inspired.

“That’s why the members of our youth board have such an important role, working alongside the team to make sure that young people’s perspectives are fully represented in everything we do.”

Originally from Portugal, Helder Costa moved to the North East in 2016 and also serves as president of Sunderland University Student Union.

She said: “The Common Room is about bringing communities together and through the youth board I hope we can empower young people to become the leaders of tomorrow.

“I’m excited to see the building take shape and to be working with the team to use the North East’s heritage to drive the region further.”

Also joining the youth board is Northumbria University law undergraduate Mohima Khan, who added: “The North East has a strong heritage and I’m a proud Geordie.

“Being a part of The Common Room youth board allows me to get involved in conversations about what engineering will mean for our region in the future, and to encourage other young people to be involved too.”

The third appointment to The Common Room youth board is Megan Wilson, a cultural heritage professional and academic whose research is focused on alternative methods of education outreach for the heritage sector.

Megan added: “The youth board means that there is a really diverse range of people coming together to make The Common Room as successful as possible.

“The board gives a chance for young professionals and people who are early in their careers to be involved in setting the direction of the project.”

Neville Hall was built between 1869 and 1872 to provide a headquarters for The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, which holds the largest publicly accessible collection of mining information in the world.

The collection is now managed by The Common Room for the benefit of users across the globe.

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