New trust to look at town’s urgent issues

Fleetwood Trust (left to right): Canon Alf Hayes, Maureen Burns, Frank Heald, Alan Vincent, Canon John Hall.'  PIC BY ROB LOCK'18-3-2018
Fleetwood Trust (left to right): Canon Alf Hayes, Maureen Burns, Frank Heald, Alan Vincent, Canon John Hall.' PIC BY ROB LOCK'18-3-2018

Ambitious plans have been drawn up to establish a new centre in Fleetwood that will help tackle pressing issues such as child poverty,
health concerns and homelessness.

The Fleetwood Trust, made up of businesses and faith leaders with in the town, is working to create a not-for-profit facility to offer support in three main areas – children and families; homelessness and the rehabilitation of patients ready to leave a hospital.

The move has been sparked after statistics for deprivation in the UK, which were published last year, shone a worrying spotlight on certain issues in Fleetwood.

Figures revealed 29 per cent of children were living in poverty compared to a national average of 19 per cent.

They also showed six areas in Fleetwood ranked among the worst 10 per cent for standards of accommodation.”

Details of funding have not yet been released but a trust spokesman said: “The costs of developing a full business plan will be covered by the Fleetwood Trust and the project does already have a pledge of financial support in excess of six figures.”

More than one site is currently being considered for the project, likely to involve extensive refurbishment of an existing building rather than a new construction.

The Fleetwood Hospital building (pictured left) on Pharos Street is among the options being considered and approaches have been made to the owners of the site.

Further details are expected to be revealed
at a public meeting next month.

Maureen Burns, of the Fleetwood Trust, said: “In recent years there has been an underserved, steep decline in social and economic support and development in Fleetwood.

“This decline cannot continue as it is impacting on the lives of many in the town and something needs to happen now, to start to bring about change.

“Discussions have been underway for some time now involving key business individuals, existing groups and the Christian community.”

Fellow trustee Canon John Hall, who is vicar of St Peter’s and St David’s in the town, added: “We know there are many things to fix and invest.

“Not everything can be done at once but the aim is to create a genuine asset for the community.”

The other people appointed to the board of trustees
are Tom Birch, Canon Alf Hayes, Frank Heald and Wyre councillor, Coun Alan Vincent.

The public meeting is at the North Euston Hotel on Thursday April 26, at 7pm.