Lancashire

Preston Space Centre saved from closure threat by charity

The Space Centre
About 200 groups a month use the Space Centre's facilities, which include multi-sensory areas

A centre providing services for disabled people has been saved from possible closure after a national charity stepped in.

The Space Centre, in Ashton, Preston, faced financial difficulty after money it expected to fund an expansion did not materialise.

A former member of staff has been arrested on suspicion of fraud and summonsed to appear at court this week.

Manchester-based Creative Support has now pledged its support to the centre.

About 200 groups a month use the centre's facilities, which include multi-sensory areas. They include soft seating, coloured lighting, bubble tubes and music to help stimulate people and help them relax.

'Tough year'

Managers said they were in the process of expanding the charity's premises to handle "the demand for care" in the region when staff discovered £800,000 in grants never actually existed.

Alison Shorrock, Space's Centre Manager said she was "absolutely relieved and delighted" Creative Support had decided to help.

She said: "It has been a really tough year not knowing if Space's future is secure.

"In the first three months after the news the money didn't exist we ran on adrenaline, not knowing if the centre would have to close.

"It's absolutely exciting we are off and running again. I'm so grateful Creative Support had the vision to see how well our organisations matched and wanted to come on board in this way."

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