Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 16.43.44Bedlington Community Centre has employed its first staff member to help promote its activities to the community.

Susan MacKellar has been appointed as a marketing & events coordinator, following the success of her previous work in raising the profile of the centre and its various events and community programmes on behalf of bait – an organisation that aims to get people in south east Northumberland involved in the arts. This included the promotion of programmes such as an educational puppet show on World War I and creative writing groups for young people in the area.

Using skills she developed through her participation in the free digital training on offer from iNorthumberland Business Support, Susan began using social media to manage the promotion of the community centre’s activities, enabling her to achieve impressive attendance figures.

In the coming months, Susan plans to put her new digital skills to use in implementing a CRM strategy, as well as increasing her use of Twitter and Linkedin to further raise awareness of activities in the community.

The iNorthumberland Business Support programme is available to businesses across Northumberland that want to make the most of the newly available superfast broadband.

A volunteer at Bedlington Community Centre recommended that Susan attend one of iNorthumberland Business Support’s free introductory workshops in Morpeth, and since then she has continued her learning through nine online courses via an e-learning portal. Topics covered include cyber security, SEO and cloud technologies. Participating SMEs can also attend face-to-face master classes to network with others and learn from top business advisors.

Eligible businesses that also complete 12 hours of training will qualify for 12 months of free superfast broadband – worth up to £400. In addition, extra funding is now available for businesses in locations where new infrastructure may be required to access superfast broadband.

Susan said: “Working with both Bedlington Community Centre and bait has enabled me to really develop my digital marketing skills, not to mention getting to see first-hand the benefits of implementing them. It’s great to see the positive effects of funding in the arts sector as it benefits the whole community –I hope this momentum continues long into the future.”

Susan has found the online training a fantastic resource for anyone keen to improve their digital knowledge.

She continued: “I have no doubt that my recently enhanced skills have complemented my new role greatly. I plan to continue to take the online training courses and attend the master classes to find out more ways in which I can help the Bedlington Community Centre and the other projects for bait that I am currently working on.”