Countess of Wessex visits the North East

The Countess of Wessex will be visiting the North East today to visit a number of community projects and officially open Hartlepool College.

Countess of Wessex visits Teesside and County Durham

by Frances Read

The Countess of Wessex has been visiting the region.

As well as visiting community projects across Teesside and County Durham, she also officially re-opened Billingham Forum to mark its fifth decade in the town. It was originally opened by the Queen in the 1960s.

But today it was given another royal seal of approval after a multi-million pound revamp.

Billingham Forum gets royal seal of approval

The Countess of Wessex is set to open the refurbished Billingham Forum forty-five years after the original building was opened by Her Majesty the Queen.

The Forum is being officially reopened after the 1960s building was refurbished at a cost of nearly nineteen million pounds.

It is hoped that the newly-refurbished centre will both increase the lifespan of the building by thirty years as well as being a twenty-first century facility for the local community to enjoy.

The Countess of Wessex will be greeted by the Mayor of Stockton and local councillor Lynne Apedaile and then given a full tour of the new Forum complex.

This is a very proud day for Stockton and we are delighted to welcome The Countess of Wessex to Billingham Forum.

The facilities at Billingham Forum are second to none and the complex is not only a jewel in the crown for Stockton Borough, but an important leisure destination for the wider region."

– Councillor Ken Dixon, Stockton Council

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Countess officially opens Hartlepool College

The Countess of Wessex will be in the region to officially open Hartlepool College today (November 13th).

Just one stop on her tour around the region, the Countess of Wessex will be meeting with students, governors, staff and guests when she officially opens the college in Hartlepool.

The Countess is also expected to take a tour of the college.

Other guests at today's opening include the Mayor of Hartlepool and Hartlepool MP Ian Wright.

The college's aim is for students to be at the very centre of the opening - with admissions on the rise ever since Hartlepool College was founded three years ago.