The Common Room, which is leading the regeneration of Newcastle’s Grade II* listed Neville Hall, formerly known to most as The Mining Institute, has appointed three new members to its Youth Board.

Helder Costa, Mohima Khan and Megan Wilson have all joined the board, which is helping to shape the redevelopment of this historic landmark.

Following its refurbishment, The Common Room will create a new hub for innovation and engineering in Newcastle city centre.

Liz Mayes, Chief Executive of The Common Room, said: “The Common Room will be a place not only for the North East engineering sector to come together but also for the next generation of innovators and engineers to be inspired. 

“That’s why the members of our Youth Board have such an important role, working alongside the team to make sure that young people’s perspectives are fully represented in everything we do.”

Originally from Portugal, Helder Costa moved to the North East in 2016 and also serves as President of Sunderland University Student Union.

“The Common Room is about bringing communities together and through the Youth Board I hope we can empower young people to become the leaders of tomorrow. I’m excited to see the building take shape and to be working with the team to use the North East’s heritage to drive the region further,” said Helder.

Also joining the youth board is Northumbria University law undergraduate Mohima Khan, who said: “The North East has a strong heritage and I’m a proud Geordie. Being a part of The Common Room Youth Board allows me to get involved in conversations about what engineering will mean for our region in the future, and to encourage other young people to be involved too.”

The third appointment to The Common Room Youth Board is Megan Wilson, a cultural heritage professional and academic whose research is focused on alternative methods of education outreach for the heritage sector.

Megan said: “The Youth Board means that there is a really diverse range of people coming together to make The Common Room as successful as possible. The Board gives a chance for young professionals and people who are early in their careers to be involved in setting the direction of the project.”

Neville Hall was built between 1869 and 1872 to provide a headquarters for The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, which holds the largest publicly accessible collection of mining information in the world. The collection is now managed by The Common Room for the benefit of users across the globe.

The Institute itself was founded in 1852 to address safety issues in mines and to promote research and learning in the fields of mining and engineering.

Spaces within the building include its Victorian Library, the Edwardian Lecture Theatre and the Arbitration Room, where mine owners and workers would meet to settle disputes over working conditions.

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 teams continue to work on the project whilst observing government guidelines in relation to social distancing.

The Common Room of the Great North is a registered charity, number 1175946.

www.thecommonroom.org.uk.