Formed by chance but still thriving

Four members of Fleetwood Community Trust. Pictured from left are: Norah Stutchfield, Bob Boal, Lorraine Beavers and Christine Smith.
Four members of Fleetwood Community Trust. Pictured from left are: Norah Stutchfield, Bob Boal, Lorraine Beavers and Christine Smith.

Fleetwood Community Trust was formed by chance.

It was during the days when Wyre Council was planning to close the port’s traditional paddling pool - news which riled the public and fuelled a 3,000 strong petition to save it.

An inaugural meeting of angry residents was held in the Mount pub, brought together by a common ground that the pool deserved to be saved.

And that was when the group was born.

Group secretary Bob Boal said: “It’s come a long way since those early days.

“We now have a county councillor on board, a town councillor and a Wyre councillor – all voices represented.

“The group has grown over a period of time after battling to save the Paddling Pool.

“We were delighted to be a part of the £1.5m Five for Fleetwood scheme which has seen the new Marine Splash Pad being constructed.”

The group’s original fight to keep the paddling pool open led to it getting a reprieve and families were able to enjoy it for a couple more years.

“But it was eventually closed and has been replaced with the new splash pad.

“Fortunately we were consulted every step of the way through the planning process,” said Bob.

“And from our humble beginnings we now have a super splash pad.

“We are absolutely thrilled we have got this and we think it’s the number one attraction in the Five for Fleetwood scheme.

“I remember the petition and how many signatures were pledged.

“The paddling pool was held dear and close to the hearts of Fleetwood people and whilst we were fighting for that we discovered that the community trust was becoming valuable.

“We then decided to apply for charitable status and raised £5,000 which we needed to become a charity.

“That was done through a series of fund-raisers at Halloween and Christmas.

“They were immensely popular, in fact the Halloween parties were over subscribed.

“Although the paddling pool did eventually close we achieved our aim which was to keep it open for a while and have a say in the water play provision we have now.

“Wyre Council consulted with us, we met the architect and helped to choose which water features to have.

“If the trust hadn’t been formed there might not have been an influence.

“We would still like to see a few extras added to the splash pad, including some fancy benches maybe.”

As for the future of the trust, they are continuing.

A committee meets once a month at the Strawberry Gardens to discuss the town.

They are looking for a new project and believe that by working with the councils and other organisations, they have a strong voice in Fleetwood.