Blackpool Youth charity set to take over vandal hit community centre

The vandalised Horsebridge Community Centre at Grange Park
The vandalised Horsebridge Community Centre at Grange Park
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A Blackpool community centre plagued by vandals is set to get a new life.

The Horsebridge Centre at Grange Park is set to be taken over by resort charity BoatHouse Youth.

Terry Bennett surveying the damage at Horsebridge

Terry Bennett surveying the damage at Horsebridge

The building in Horsebridge Road, has been taken out of use after a series of vandal attacks last summer left windows repeatedly broken and doors damaged.

It meant lonely pensioners nearby were left without their regular breakfast meetings and quiz nights.

A breakfast and supper service was offered at the Argosy centre at Grange, but some pensioners could not make the longer journey.

Grange resident Terry Bennett said: “Some of the vulnerable elderly people near Horsebridge cannot get to Argosy and are now feeling isolated. They used to meet other people at the breakfasts organised by the Open Door scheme, but now really only see carers who visit them.

"It is good to see someone doing something for the young people here, but it is a shame for the elderly near Horsebridge.

“I hope something can be arranged for them.”

John Donnellon, chief executive of Blackpool Coastal Housing, which oversees the centre said they were keen to get the centre back into use.

He said: “In the past twelve months we have had issues with vandalism and break-ins at the Horsebridge Community Centre.

“Over the years the use of the centre has reduced as the resident population has changed and the one group that used it on a regular basis has now moved to another location.

“We have been working in partnership with a local charity, The BoatHouse Youth, to bring it back to life and we are very pleased that they will taking over the day to day management of the centre.

“Together we are carrying out a full upgrade centre and from summer 2019, a new youth club will be launched for the young people.”