Peterlee school boosts community access to sports and performing arts facilities

A new partnership from a County Durham school will enable local community groups to make use of its sports and performing arts facilities on evenings, weekends and during school holidays.

Dene Community School has joined forces with School Lettings Solutions (SLS) to manage its facilities and provide leisure venues for various activities, such as fitness classes, dance workshops and craft groups.

SLS partners with schools, academies and colleges to fully manage their facilities at zero cost to the organisations, while linking them with local community groups in need of affordable space.

The school will play host to activities, such as rugby and archery. Local groups can hire its facilities, which include a sports hall, main hall, drama studio and a dance studio, for regular classes or ad hoc events.

It is hoped the partnership will open up new opportunities to the school’s students, as well as people of all ages from the local area.

David Nelson, head teacher at Dene Community School, said: “We’re really excited to be opening up the school to the wider community. We’re proud of the facilities we offer our students, such as our dance studio and sports hall, and it makes sense to us that they are available to use during evenings and weekends as well.

“We’ve already got some great partners signed up to use our facilities, such as the East Durham Archers, and we’re looking forward to getting more on board. This can only be a positive thing for our students and people in the area.”

SLS currently works with more than 160 schools nationwide, helping them to make the best use of their facilities. It provides a fully managed service, including managing bookings and staffing the facilities to ensure rooms are secure and ready for the next school day. The business is expanding across the country and is looking to sign up schools in the North East, which are currently facing hundreds of thousands of pounds of funding cuts.

Jackie Latu, managing director of SLS, said: “It’s great to welcome Dene Community School

as our latest partner. The school has got some brilliant facilities and we’ve already had lots of booking enquiries. We’re passionate about ensuring people have access to opportunities that boost their health and wellbeing, so we’re keen to provide local groups with marketing support to make sure their clubs thrive and are well attended.

“There is huge potential to provide more places like this for people of all ages to come together, which will be really positive for the area. At the same time, our partnerships provide a new stream of income for schools as their budgets come under more and more pressure.”

To enquire about the facilities that are on offer, call 0191 501 6988 or email

For more information or to book facilities at Dene Community School, visit


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