Troubled group is back on track

Trustee Peter Wallace at Bispham Community Centre.
Trustee Peter Wallace at Bispham Community Centre.

A CHARITY at the centre of a fraud investigation says it is on the road to recovery.

Bispham Community Centre was left in dire straits after around £60,000 allegedly went missing from accounts earlier this year.

But volunteers say the situation is now “a lot more positive” following months of hard work at the Bispham Road centre.

Trustee Peter Wallace has overseen much of its regeneration – which includes the complete redecoration of its interior and a large increase in the number of clubs and societies now using the facilities.

Mr Wallace said: “All in all things are slowly picking up and it’s a lot more positive now.

“We’ve managed to cut our expenses down suitably and run on a knife edge, but we’re making the place such that people come in now and people comment on how clean and tidy it is.

“It’s a place people like to come to now.”

Following the revelations about its finances the charity was left with just £230 in savings and unable to pay ground rent to the council.

Councillors Don Clapham and Henry Mitchell, who represent Bispham on Blackpool Council, have given around £5,000 from their allocated ward budget to help revive the centre.

Coun Clapham said: “To see the centre turned round with Peter Wallace at the helm is fantastic.

“He’s stabilised it and brought it back from the dead.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said investigations into the missing money are “ongoing”.

The first of a series of a weekly series of indoor car boot sales will take place at the centre this Sunday.

For more information call 07979 812142.

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