Redcar and Cleveland Council has entered into a new partnership with a voluntary organisation run by local disabled people to ensure Redcar Shopmobility is back in business for users in time for Christmas shopping.
The Redcar and Cleveland Real Opportunity Centre (ROC) has secured Council funding for the next 18 months to revive the service, formerly run by the Redcar and Cleveland Disability Access Group (DAG), which was forced to close its doors on the Esplanade in September due to lack of funds.
The current Shopmobility members have all been notified about the good news and recruitment for staff is now underway.
The Council's Cabinet Chairman Councillor Eric Empson said: "Council officers and ROC have pulled out all the stops to get Shopmobility up and running before Christmas.
"As well as financial support, we are also helping with some equipment and building maintenance and repairs. Council departments are pitching in to get things moving on a safe and sound basis."
ROC Manager Jane Reast explained: "This is a busy and challenging time for ROC and our first priority is to get the doors open again.
"The Council has recognised the value of voluntary sector work and the public and economic benefit this partnership can bring. It has listened to local people and responded very positively. DAG has done a great job and given us a platform so we can develop."
ROC's other work will include a day resource newsletter and organising the Disabled People's Partnership Board, which will complement and enhance the Information and Shopmobility service.