Len McCluskey at this year's Durham Miners' Gala
Len McCluskey at this year’s Durham Miners’ Gala

A MINERS’ hall is to become a part-time community centre and campaign base to fight the Government’s welfare reforms.

The trades union Unite and the Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) have teamed up to open the DMA’s headquarters, the Miners’ Hall, at Red Hill, Durham City, to the community two days a week.

Visitors will be offered the chance to learn new skills, help with welfare issues and support to find work.

Supporters hope the centre will also be a hub for local campaigning against reforms such as the so-called bedroom tax and other benefit cuts.

A grand opening will be held on Friday, November 15, after which the centre will be open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 3pm.

The opening will be addressed by Len McCluskey, Unite’s general secretary.

Karen Reay, Unite’s regional secretary, said: “This exciting development in conjunction with the Durham Miners’ Association brings Unite back into our industrial heartlands.”

Dave Hopper, from the DMA, said: “We have opened the community support centre in partnership with Unite in a response to the vicious attacks on the benefits system brought in by the Con-Dem government.”

Durham’s will be the fifth such centre Unite has opened this year.

You can find the original article at The Northern Echo here.