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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Nuclear funding boost for community centre

MULTI-MILLION pound community centre is open for business thanks to funding from the nuclear industry.

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OPEN: The Lighthouse Community Centre in Haverigg. Below, Janice Brockbank, headteacher at Haverigg Primary School and Lighthouse Centre chief executive MILTON HAWORTH REF: 50027870B001

The £1.5m Haverigg Lighthouse Centre project has taken around 10 years from the drawing board to completion and has overcome a number of barriers.

The centre, in the grounds of Haverigg Primary School, was initially funded by West Lakes Renaissance but the company was scrapped after the government announced it was closing down the Northwest Regional Development Agency. As a result, there was a question mark over its funding and its future.

A group of councillors and individuals picked up the baton to safeguard the project’s future and with the help of funding from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Copeland Borough Council and a number of small businesses the centre is now open for business.

Janice Brockbank, headteacher at Haverigg Primary School and Lighthouse Centre chief executive, said: “There wasn’t a blueprint for our project.

“We’ve had to adapt and develop as we have moved along. It has required elements to support and direct the development of the different businesses which have to complement and support each other.”

Construction began in July 2010 and was completed around 12 months later. The centre opened at the beginning of January and features a nursery, rooms for community groups and a kitchen for the school. Local groups can hire rooms or even visit at lunchtimes for a meal.

One of the tenants in the centre is Haverigg Nursery.

Mrs Brockbank described the move of the nursery into the Lighthouse Centre as ‘a Christmas present for all our families in the community’.

She said: “I would also like to thank the nursery committee who have had a very strong input into the Lighthouse Project on behalf of Haverigg Nursery team.

“We have had a tremendous range of public and private funders and we are grateful for all the support they have given, the whole wonderful £1.5m of it.

“We look forward to our official opening when we can welcome all our funders to the Lighthouse Centre.

“I believe they will be delighted with the results of their investment in this wonderful facility.”

The new centre also means pupils from Haverigg Primary School no longer need to bring in packed lunches.

Copeland Borough Councillor Felicity Wilson was keen to thank the agencies which donated funds for the project; the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Copeland Community Fund.

She said: “The Lighthouse project wouldn’t have been completed without their generous support and it will make a huge difference to the communities of Haverigg and the surrounding area.”

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