, which helps young people improve their skills, self-esteem and health and fitness, is almost complete.
The Herlingshaw Education Centre in Middlesbrough was officially opened in May this year after regional development agency One NorthEast awarded £220,000 of funding, via Tees Valley Partnership, to build three new classrooms, offices and storage space.
But since then Middlesbrough Football Club in the Community, which manages the centre, has carried out additional work to install a top of the range Astroturf football pitch and roof lighting
with more than £500,000 of funding from the Football Foundation.
George Cooke, Director of Middlesbrough Football Club in the Community, said: "The funding from One NorthEast was so important, not just because it enabled us to transform a previously under-utilised building into an education centre, but it led to the further funding boost from the Football Foundation.
"The centre is proving to be a real benefit to the local community, in particular to young people who are considered to be on the verge of exclusion. We need to engage with these people before they drop out of the education system, and the feedback we've had is that the programmes we're delivering are working."
Middlesbroughs staff and players have also lent their backing to the Herlingshaw Education Centre, acknowledging the role they can play in the development of those young people using the facility
One NorthEast board member Kate Welch, who attended the official opening of the Herlingshaw Centre, is pleased with the progress the centre has made.
She said: "More than 100 youngsters have benefited from the Entry to Employment programme, which is very encouraging to hear.
"As the regional development agency for the North East, we want to give people as great a chance as possible to access
education, employment and training
, and thats exactly why we've supported this project.
"It's vital we offer as much support to local youngsters and young adults as we can, because they are our future. Without them we won't be able to achieve the targets weve set ourselves to ensure the best possible future for our region."
Middlesbrough Football Club in the Communitys partners in the Herlingshaw Education Centre are Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and the local Primary Care Trusts.