Tank-ing it from social club to £1m youth hub

The North Lancs Training Group
The North Lancs Training Group

Jobs Venue becomes a training base for town youngsters

A one million pound investment in Fleetwood will see young people from the area given vital training opportunities to boost their future livelihoods.

And it is all taking place in a former drinking establishment which became near-legendary, the Gasworkers Club – known locally as The Tank – on Preston Street.

Snooker icon Steve Davis will officially open the North Lancs Training Group’s (NLTG) Vocational Centre of Excellence next week, on Wednesday, October 22.

It comes after a year’s work by NLTG in transforming the old Tank premises into a state-of-the-art training centre.

With its headquarters in Accrington, NLTG is one of the biggest training providers in the country.

Its Fleetwood operation was first set up at Milton Street Community Centre five years ago, but now NLTG is finally ready for the official launch at its impressive new site, with better facilities and extra staff.

It’s hoped the new training facility will benefit thousands of youngsters from across Wyre.

Jim Harkness, NLTG’s managing director, says the innovative pre-apprenticeship programme is tailored to suit the needs of young people who are not yet ready, or able, to directly enter an apprenticeship or employment.

The big launch is open to the public from 1pm to 3pm and will allow 16 to 18-year-olds to find out about training opportunities locally.

Mr Harkness said: “We were invited to help and support the young people of Fleetwood five years ago, since then our delivery has been graded as outstanding by Ofsted.

“We see our new development in Fleetwood as an exciting opportunity to help and support the town.”

The company prides itself on its record of successfully getting its young people into active employment or apprenticeships, at a time when many young people are otherwise struggling to find such opportunities.

Mr Harkness added: “NLTG has won the City and Guilds Lion Award for the Centre of Excellence for the third time in a row.

“This award is given to the college or training provider with the highest number of Gold Medals for Excellence winners and our success is a real coup.”

Coun Dave Shaw, a Fleetwood Town Council member for Pharos ward, said: “This is a very welcome development for Fleetwood. Anything that helps our young people get job opportunities and training, right on their doorstep, has got to be a good thing.”

And Coun Evelyn Stephenson, Wyre’s Pharos member, added: “Our young people need this kind of thing.

“I very much welcome this investment in the town.”

Members of the public will be able to meet Steve Davis, the six-times World Snooker Champ and reality TV star, observe the delivery of training and take a tour of the brand new facilities and resources.

For further details contact Sasha Johnson 07720 092834 or sasha.johnson@nltg.co.uk