The Foxton Centre secures £2.2m grant to re-build youth services base in Avenham

Posted on - 4th August, 2023 - 3:42pm | Author - | Posted in - Avenham, Charities, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News, Proud Preston
The double height multi-use hall Pic: Studio John Bridge
The proposed double height multi-use hall Pic: Studio John Bridge

The Foxton Centre been awarded a transformational Youth Investment Fund grant of £2.2 million to re-build its Avenham base.

The Foxton has been delivering youth services from its Knowsley Street site for the last 54 years.

John Parkinson the chair of Foxton’s trustees, said:”After 54 years of continuous use as a centre offering activities for young people in Avenham and Frenchwood, future generations will now be able to enjoy The Foxton Centre as a pillar of their community.  

“Thanks are due to Preston City Council and the Diocese of Blackburn for assisting in securing a long term lease on the land. This is great news for the city and a testament to the young people who helped secure the investment for their new centre.”

Young people from the area who are part of the Foxton’s youth forum developed the bid to secure the funding. The young people committed their time to write a key part of the bid and to create a short film around why the current building is no longer fit for purpose.

The Foxton Centre was granted planning permission for a new building designed by local architects Studio John Bridge earlier this year, and this award means the project can move ahead.

Artist's impression of the revamped Foxton Centre
How the revamped Foxton Centre could look

Andrew Pratt, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, welcomed the news, saying: “The Foxton Centre is key to providing essential provision for young people and those living on the margins of society in the City of Preston.

“It is incredibly good news that the development of the new building is now moving into the next stage. The staff, both paid and volunteers, work for the good of those who need it most. This new building, with all the facilities that it will provide, will enable people to thrive. I know it will make difference in the lives of people who access the building and work with the amazing staff.”

Jeff Marsh, CEO of the Foxton Centre, thanked everyone who supported the bid. Jeff said: “So many people have helped us secure the funding for this project, which will be such a valuable asset to our community and allow us to carry on our youth work for the next 50 years.”

Read more: The Foxton Centre’s Avenham base to be rebuilt

A young person who completed the bid said: “We deserve better facilities because the Foxton has been around for 50 years and has worked hard for our community. We now want our building to be modern and welcoming for a new generation of young people.

“We believe we deserve this money because we are a great group of young people who have worked extremely hard for this bid and The Foxton Centre means a lot to us.”

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Preston MP Sir Mark Hendrick helped the Foxton deal with some of the government departments involved in the bid process.

Sir Mark said: “I have always been an ardent supporter of the Foxton Centre and the fantastic work that it does for the young people and families of Avenham and the wider Preston area. 

“I am thrilled that the Secretary of State for Education has given the go ahead to enable the redevelopment of the Centre and look forward to seeing the work in the coming months.

“Once completed in 2025, this new centre will be an exemplary youth facility, benefiting generations of young people for many years to come.”

The existing building will be demolished later this year, but temporary facilities will be used during the redevelopment to ensure the Foxton’s services don’t close.

Cllr Jennifer Mein, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Preston City Council, added: “The Foxton Centre is a Preston-based charity with a long history and strong commitment to working in the local community with both vulnerable adults and young people.
“We welcome the news that the centre has been able to secure the funding they need from the Youth Investment Fund run by DCMS (The Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport) and it can now move forward with their plans for a new youth centre in Avenham. The new facility will provide additional support, safety and resources for those in young people that need it the most.”

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