New youth service at former hospital building set to change lives

A brand new offer to help children and young people in Fleetwood thrive into the future has been officially unveiled within a transformed former hospital building.

Works to create a state-of-the-art Youth Hub at The Hub - a former dilapidated NHS property in Pharos Street - are complete after the major project got underway at the start of the year.

The ambitious service - which will be run by Fleetwood Town Community Trust - is now set to open its doors to provide a welcoming, safe and engaging space to ensure young people have the confidence and skills they need to reach their potential.

A special event was held on Friday, June 14 to mark the launch of the Youth Hub with those in attendance able to view the facilities while finding out more about the range of services it will provide.

Charley Wilkinson, Chief Executive of the Fleetwood Trust, said: “We are incredibly proud to see the work completed on this project which will undoubtedly change the lives of young people in Fleetwood.

“The space is central to our work to improve the area we live and work in and has been co-designed with young people themselves.

“Our thanks go to everyone involved in bringing this project to fruition including our architect Lee Donner at Mason Gillibrand and contractors Krol Corlett who have worked so hard to deliver it on time

“We now look forward to seeing it filled with children and young people as they enjoy the range of activities and services available through the Fleetwood Town Community Trust.”

Lord Tom McNally, Fleetwood Trust Chair, said: “The Fleetwood Town Community Trust have already established themselves as providers of quality services for the young people of Fleetwood and they are the ideal choice to take responsibility for delivering this part of our mission.

“It is the intention of the Fleetwood Trust to provide, in partnership with the people of Fleetwood, a range of services and facilities of the highest quality at the old hospital.

“The Youth Hub is a keystone in the realisation of that vision, and I wish it well.”

The Fleetwood Trust secured planning permission for the Youth Hub last year before commissioning extensive renovations to the ground floor of the aging building as part of its work to provide a home for a range of organisations, charities and services for the benefit of the wider community.

Inclusive sessions run by a team of youth workers from the Fleetwood Town Community Trust will run across six evenings each week and will include LGBTQ+, Youth Voice, Girls’ Hub and Speak Up - a session to champion mental health and wellness.

Equipped with equipment such as football, ping pong and air hockey tables, gaming consoles, speakers and arts and crafts supplies, it is hoped more than 200 children and young people over the age of 10 will use the hub every year.

John Hartley, Chief Executive of Fleetwood Town Community Trust said: “Seeing the Youth Hub completed and filled with people is a significant moment and one we’ve been looking forward to for some time.

“The youth hub will provide an engaging and fun, safe and inclusive place for children and young people so that they can access the support they need to go forward towards a bright future.

“I’m very excited about the opportunities and possibilities the Youth Hub will open up and my thanks go to everyone involved in transforming this space.”

Joe Stockell, Fleetwood Town Community Trust Youth Engagement Manager, said: “This is history and the future for Fleetwood Town Community Trust and the local area.

“It is the first time we have had a base within the town and we feel embedded within the community as local people can come and access any support, provision or sign posting.

“Youth Team are really proud to take the Youth Hub forward and offer some amazing provisions that will give young people a warm and space to socialise, build life skills and try new things.

Lee Donner, Project Architect and Director at Mason Gillibrand Architects, said: “These kinds of community projects are always really rewarding, but the Youth Hub project has been extra special.

“The shared energy between the trustees, the design team and a great team of local contractors has been tremendous throughout and I think that shows in the end result. The new facility is generous in scale, quirky in style and above all fun to be in.

“We’ve worked hard to adapt the rigid language of the hospital interiors to build something more open and inviting without losing the buildings important local identity

“I can’t wait to see it put to good use to make a positive impact in the community as part of the ongoing repurposing of the building.”

Construction consultancy Shelby were project managers and quantity surveyors on the Fleetwood Youth Hub scheme.

Director Phil Taylor, who runs Shelby’s Poulton-le-Fylde office, said: “We have worked on the scheme from when it was just a glimmer of an idea. This amazing amenity has only been made possible thanks to countless hours of work by Fleetwood Trust and the consultant and contractor team to turn a dream into a reality.

“It has been a real privilege and joy to work alongside such a dedicated team to provide this fantastic facility, which will undoubtedly improve the lives of Fleetwood youngsters.”

Further stages of development at The Hub are due to be revealed in the coming months.

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