Blackpool youth club set for new home

Fun at the Blackpool Boys and Girls Club
Fun at the Blackpool Boys and Girls Club
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A popular youth club is moving after half a century in its current Blackpool home.

Blackpool Boys and Girls Club is to leave its Laycock Gate premises just before Christmas, to make way for Phase Two of Blackpool Council’s Queens Park redevelopment programme.

The club, a registered charity which celebrated its 80th anniversary earlier this year, has leased the purpose built premises from the council since it was developed as part of the estate in the mid-1960s.

Club trustees had been working closely with the local authority to find new premises in the area, to avoid any possible delays to the new housing development.

While an alternative site has been identified and negotiations are progressing, it will not be available for occupation before Christmas.

However, the council has agreed to provide the former TABINI office on Victory Road, next to the Sports Barn and SureStart, as a temporary base for the club to continue operations in Brunswick Ward in the interim.

Trustees chairman Fiona Valentine said: “A compensation package has been agreed with the council and an announcement will be made on the new club as soon as possible when a formal fundraising campaign will be launched – although, of course, donations or help of any sort is welcome at any time.”

“This has been a challenging period for all members, parents, staff and volunteers at the club, with continued uncertainty regarding the future.

“However, the trustees are close to securing an opportunity that will provide an immediate base and eventually a state-of-the-art facility for the club, to provide the young people and community we work in with improved and expanded services for many more years to come.”

It is hoped the tenancy will be completed soon, so the move can go ahead within the next couple of weeks. The temporary premises will operate in conjunction with Lancashire Association of Boys and Girls Club’s “Club to Go” mobile facility until the new building is ready to open.

Peter Riley, club leader at Laycock Gate for the past 18 years, said: “We’re all very sad to leave Laycock Gate but are looking forward to moving to our new home.

“In the meantime, it will be business as usual so existing members and any other young people will be welcome at the temporary club on Victory Road.”

Evening sessions will continue as existing:

Tuesday - Senior Night - Age 11 - 21, Wednesday - Open All in Group - Age 18 upwards for those with disabilities, Thursday - All in Group - Age to 21 and those with disabilities to age 24 and Friday - Junior Night - Age 8 - 11.

The club’s Mereside operation, at Bowness Avenue, is unaffected and sessions will continue on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

Blackpool Boys & Girls Club is open to all the young people of Blackpool and provides a safe, secure environment for them to enjoy a range of activities. In addition there are special project nights, days out, weekend trips and school holiday activities. For more call 01253 312372.