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BT to support The Word with FabLab Sponsorship

BT has announced its support for The Word, National Centre for the Written Word.

The communications company is sponsoring the FabLab area in the stunning cultural venue in South Shields.

FabLab @ The Word will feature 3D printers and vinyl and laser cutters which will allow visitors to design and produce items such as fridge magnets, keyrings and jewellery.

BT will also sponsor the activity programme within FabLab @ The Word, which is part of a global network.

As well as drop-in sessions in the facility, there will be an artist-led project run by the Cultural Spring. Artists will hold a series of workshops with local people who will design and create art and craft work using the equipment in the FabLab. The first workshops will use the spectacular Ridley Scott launch exhibition as inspiration.

Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: "We are delighted to have BT on board supporting The Word, which is the centrepice of our South Shields 365 regeneration masterplan.

"South Tyneside Council and BT have a long tradition of successful partnership working and this sponsorship agreement will further enhance that relationship. "

South Tyneside Council and BT have been strategic partners since 2008, with BT delivering a number of services including IT, human resources and financial services, on behalf of the council.

Mark Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of BT South Tyneside, said: "We are a key strategic partner of the council and we are thrilled to be supporting such a fantastic venue.

"As an organisation, we are keen to foster a culture of 'tech literacy', particularly among children and young people. The FabLab will offer the opportunity to be creative using state-of-the-art technology."

The Fab Lab concept was conceived by renowned inventor and scientist Professor Neil Gershenfeld at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His idea was to provide the environment, skills and materials to allow people to make almost anything.

The Word, which will officially open to the public on Saturday October 22, is the centrepiece of the first phase of the £100m South Shields 365 regeneration masterplan being delivered by South Tyneside Council and its partner Muse Developments.

The venue will offer an exciting and inspirational celebration of the written word through a rolling programme of high quality exhibitions, events and workshops.

Incorporating library and digital media space, The Word will boast an impressive range of facilities including a computer gaming area, digitised archives, meeting rooms, children's immersive storytelling area, OpenZone IT suite and café.

The Word is also supported by Arts Council England and Port of Tyne.

To find out more about FabLab @ The Word and for details of taster sessions during the opening week, visit The Word's dedicated website at

The Word

For more information on the latest events and exhibitions, opening times and directions, please visit The Word website. The Word is also available to follow on Facebook and Twitter.

The Word, 45 Market Place, South Shields, NE33 1JF

The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, South Shields

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