The team behind the redevelopment of one of Newcastle’s most important historical buildings has been strengthened with the appointment of three new members of staff.

The Common Room, which is leading the two-year regeneration of Neville Hall, better known as The Mining Institute, has appointed Julie Eastlake as Finance and Operations Manager, Susan Ford as Programme Administrator and Philippa King-Williams as Sales and Marketing Manager.

Liz Mayes, Chief Executive of The Common Room, said: “As we continue our work to preserve Neville Hall and transform it into a place where we can really celebrate our region’s engineering achievements, we’re expanding the team, bringing in a wealth of new skills and experience.”

Julie Eastlake, who joins the team with more than 20 years’ experience in the North East voluntary and charitable sector, said: “I’m looking forward to helping to bring the shared vision we have for The Common Room to life and seeing the project develop and grow over the next year and a half. It’s an exciting time to be involved.”

As well as serving as a member of The Common Room’s steering group, Julie will be responsible for managing the organisation’s finance and central administration functions.

Joining Julie is Programme Administrator, Susan Ford, who will be working with schools, communities and volunteers as part of The Common Room’s outreach and education programmes, which are taking place at locations across the North East.

Susan said: Giving young people the chance to explore, investigate and learn about the past is a fantastic way to inspire engineers of the future. I’ll be working with schools as part of our Children of the Revolution workshops, which aim to help young people gain new skills and learn more about engineering and innovation, and I’ll be working with our team of volunteers on the Graft & Glory exhibition, which is touring venues in the North East.”

Philippa King-Williams has been appointed as The Common Room’s Sales and Marketing Manager, having relocated back to the North East from London. Philippa’s role includes developing The Common Room’s corporate hire and wedding packages.

“Having recently returned to the North East, I am so pleased I can truly get my teeth into such an exciting project It’s important that The Common Room is accessible to all, somewhere the North East can feel proud of. I can’t wait to introduce more people to The Common Room as the refurbishment progresses,” said Philippa.

Since Neville Hall closed to the public in November 2018, the collections of The Mining Institute have been moved into secure storage, work has begun on restoring the building’s features, and preparations are underway for improving access to the venue.

The building will reopen as The Common Room in late 2020 and it will act as a hub for innovation and engineering in Newcastle city centre, complete with a café bar and spaces available for corporate hire and weddings.

In November 2016 the National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded £600,000 to The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers to undertake an extensive development phase. In July 2018, The Common Room of the Great North was awarded £4.1m by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to revitalise the Grade II listed Mining Institute, transforming it into The Common Room.

The Common Room is now seeking to raise £1m in match funding to support the capital project and is inviting businesses and individuals to get in touch to discuss exclusive partnership and giving opportunities.