Blackpool charity is set to expand its youth centre

A Blackpool youth charity is set to build an extension to its centre after seeing a spike in demand for its services.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 12:30 pm

The Boathouse Youth group is to extend its Grange Park Youth Centre after just 18 months in residence.

The charity currently support up to 1,000 children and young people across Blackpool each year by unlocking the barriers to participating in a variety of different activities and experiences designed to boost-confidence, restore self-esteem and, above all, bring happiness to the children’s lives.

It was founded in 2009 and operates in the Grange Park and Bloomfield areas where it estimates more than 50 per cent of children are in families living below the breadline.

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How the Boathouse Youth centre at Grange Park will look after the building is extended

The former Horsebridge Day Centre has become popular as a youth facility on the estate with more than 500 individual youngsters having accessed the base since January 2020.

The centre had previously been the target of a series of vandal attacks that left windows repeatedly broken and doors damaged.

Now the plans have been approved and it will mean the team can add a new break-out hall, reception area, a one to one mentoring room and adjacent storage facility to the existing building.

The group had previously been hosted by Boundary Primary School while a pilot scheme was undertaken to see if there was a need for the youth facilities in the area.

Boathouse Youth provides a range of services and activities both indoor and out for children in Blackpool

Laurance Hancock, chief executive officer of Boathouse Youth said "Needless to say, it was, and our level of financial investment in the area has reflected this.

"Early in the year we adopted the services of another Blackpool children’s charity - Aspired Futures - who made the decision to close their doors post-Covid.

"More than 40 young people with complex needs attended The Boathouse Youth’s new Pathway Programme from Aspired Futures meaning there became an immediate need for additional space.

"The break-out hall will have interconnecting doors to the existing hall. This means we can have a very large space or two smaller spaces, allowing for multiple group activities to run concurrently. Naturally we are very excited at the prospect."

How the Horsebridge building looks at present

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