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Demolition job on The Foxton Centre’s Avenham base begins

Posted on - 8th April, 2024 - 7:15am | Author - | Posted in - Avenham, Charities, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Redevelopment
The demolition site at Knowsley Street

For more than five decades The Foxton Centre has stood on Knowsley Street in Avenham.

Now the youth and community centre is being knocked down to make way for a new £2.4million building for the city charity.

Demolition work began in late-March at the site ahead of a new two-storey building springing up by January with construction working starting in the coming weeks.

The current Avenham Street building was forced to close in September last year due to RAAC – unsafe concrete – being discovered. It was built in 1969.

The Foxton is continuing to provide its youth, community and homelessness work across the city at other sites including the youth centre at Oakham Court, homeless day centre at Fox Street, a 14-bed emergency hostel and women’s centre in New Hall Lane.

Read more: Big PNE Sleep Out fund total presented to The Foxton Centre

A call-out for memories of the Avenham Street building – marking the Foxton Centre’s impact over more than 50 years serving the city – has been launched.

Chief executive of The Foxton Centre, Jeff Marsh, said: “We’re really excited that our youth and community centre, our original home in Preston, is going to be redeveloped and we want to celebrate the building and the people who have been part of its story.

“There are people from across Preston who have attended our clubs, volunteered or even got married at the centre. We really want to hear those stories and see the photos people have. The Memory Appeal is about reminding us of Foxton’s impact on the people of Preston over the past 50 years.

“Once the new centre has been built, it will need a host of new furniture and fittings including seating for the new café and other areas, appliances for the kitchen and equipment for a range of activities for young people and we will require support from the local community for this.

“We would urge people who wish to support a local Preston charity to donate or get in touch with us to discuss how they could help us make the new centre the very best it can be for young people from in and around Preston.”

Marking the demolition phase of the former Foxton Centre building

Memories from young and old who used the Avenham Street building

Rhiannon from Foxton’s youth forum said: “The old centre was full of brilliant memories but it was outdated and in need of repair. Foxton is a safe space for a lot of people in the community and without it there would be nowhere for people to go to meet friends and make new friends.

“The new building will be a new beginning and will make sure Foxton can continue to help young people around Preston for many more years to come.”

Read more: Preston Youth Zone could provide opportunities to keep kids off troubled path

Wilbur, left, has dedicated decades to serving at The Foxton Centre

Wilbur, who has been a youth worker at the Foxton Centre for around 30 years, said: “Giving young people in the Preston area a voice has always been a huge part of what the centre is about. Our youth forum has not only supported with the funding bid for the new building but also worked with John Bridge and the team on the design process.

“Our new centre will be something that we can be truly proud of as a community, and a place where young people, whatever their background, can go to be themselves over the coming generations.”

Anyone with memories and photographs of the Foxton Youth and Community Centre can send them to memories@thefoxtoncentre.co.uk

Funding for the new building has come via the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Youth Investment Fund. The design is by Preston-based architect Studio John Bridge and Tyson Construction are undertaking the build.

See pictures below of how the new youth centre is due to look, graphics provided by Studio John Bridge

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