A Preston centre for disabled people threatened with closure could be saved by a group of local businesses.
The SPACE Centre on Pedders Lane has been providing care for disabled people and their families in the city for nearly 20 years but is now trying to plug an £800,000 hole in its finances.
Business leaders from Bowker MW, Preston Marina, Today Can Be Better, Tandem Law and Paper Innovation amongst others have formed a group to come up with ways to raise funds for the centre.
Tom Fox Bowker BMW managing director said: “The Space Centre is known to all of us in the local area for the incredible work they do. And for their future to be at risk over this financial situation, so near to the completion of their wonderful extension, is heartbreaking.
“But, although the financial situation is precarious, none of us believe that sitting around and moping will help the situation. We all operate successful businesses through taking action. And that’s what we believe should happen now.”
The centre currently has 230 groups visiting a month from across Lancashire including special schools, play schemes and respite care homes.
An investigation was launched by police in early October after grant money never materialised. The centre has a partially completed extension but a bill of £350,000 outstanding for it.
Suzanne Cameron of Preston Marina said: “We believe that all businesses, however large or small, can play their part. Donations are desperately needed. But sponsored events and generally helping to raise awareness of the Space Centre’s plight can also help. I suppose, to use a sailing term, it’s a case of all hands on deck.”
The group of business leaders have established a Save Our Space Centre action group and will be revealing more details in the coming weeks.
They have also released a video appeal to make people aware of the trouble the centre is facing.
Louise Taylor who is also involved in the campaign has organised a number of community events to raise funds for SPACE.
Louise and friends will be cycling the Guild Wheel in fancy dress on Sunday 18 November, as well as inviting friends to join a community choir at Ashton Methodist Church every Saturday from 2pm-4pm.
The Variety pub is also getting involved, playing host to a charity band night and raffle on Saturday 1 December.
Donations can be made to SPACE on 01772 760 403 or write to SOS, Save our SPACE, 10 Pedders Lane, Ashton, Preston, PR2 2TH.
You can find the Save Our Space website here, support the campaign on Facebook, and like the centre on Facebook here.