Fawdon Community Centre was due to close after council funding was withdrawn, until Newcastle Tenants and Residents Federation agreed to take over, moving in its offices.
The charity will use its own budget to maintain the building, which houses a library, playgroup and space for community groups.
More top news
Once named as Britain's tallest man, the 7'7" star played Mag The Mighty in the fantasy series. He died following heart failure.
With the County Championship starting in April, Sir Ian will make a statement later about his visions for the club.
The next phase in plans to attract more high-tech companies to a leading science parks in County Durham gets underway today.