Trust steps in to keep centre open

Members of the Teanlowe over-60s group at the grand re-opening ceremony

Members of the Teanlowe over-60s group at the grand re-opening ceremony

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An under-threat facility serving the over-60s has been saved from closure.

Teanlowe Day Centre in Queensway has operated since the early 1970s but was faced with closure due to increasing financial pressures on Wyre Council.

Concerned for the future of the hall a group of trustees from Teanlowe 60-plus group joined forces with a trio of Wyre councillors, Colette Birch, Lesley Mckay and Barry Birch, to come up with a plan.

Under the new arrangements the group occupies part of the building and will pay reduced rent alongside running costs, lowering the council subsidy and freeing up the remaining part of the building for commercial let.

A plan has finally been agreed and the revamped centre was officially re-opened yesterday by mayor of Wyre Coun Terry Lees.

Coun Birch, one of the trustees, said: “One of the main things we’re hoping for under the new arrangements is to attract new members.

“My view is that 60 is no age at all nowadays and, although we have a good mix of ages attending, we need younger members to support perpetuity of the group.

“We also want to expand and develop the services available and, in order to make the centre pay for itself, plan to hire it out for parties, meetings and events at very competitive rates.”

The trustees and members of the committee are now planning to approach a number of charities and group in the hope they could expand use of the centre.

Age Concern and The British Legion are among the organisations they are hoping to involve to expand the range of services on offer. Coun Alan Vincent, Cabinet member with responsibility for asset management at Wyre Council, said: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to safeguard the Teanlowe 60+ Group, enabling them to continue providing their service from the building and at the same time improve the financial position of the council.

“We now have an independent community space for the over 60s and a good sized and well positioned retail unit that we are currently in the process of marketing with much interest.”

Wyre Council leader Coun Peter Gibson, said: “I’m looking forward to a bright future for the group and believe there are many opportunities to enhance the services to the over sixties in Wyre.”