Five local businesses have joined forces to draw up a battle plan to save a Lancashire centre for disabled people from closure.
The Space Centre on Pedders Lane in Preston has been providing vital services for severely disabled people across Lancashire for almost 20 years. But now, its future hangs in the balance after it thought it had secured £800,000 in grants, only to find out they never existed.
The new privately-organised task force of Tom Fox and Amy Uphill from Bowker BMW, Suzanne Cameron from Preston Marina, Ross McWilliam from Today Can Be Better, Chris McCrudden from Tandem Law and Steve Johnston managing director of Paper Innovations has come together to pool their expertise and seek out new ways to safeguard the Space Centre’s future.
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.”
Steve Johnston of Paper Innovation said,
“We hope between the four of us we have the contacts and the tenacity to mobilise the Preston business community and make a difference. This is a call to arms. We know these are difficult times for us all. But the Space Centre has touched the lives of thousands of Prestonians. And none of us are prepared to let it go without a fight.”
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.”
For Today Can Be Better, Ross McWilliam adds,
“I can’t imagine the idea of Preston without the Space Centre. Throughout the Guild we enjoyed the best that Preston has to offer. But for me, the Space Centre epitomises our city at its very best. And that is just one reason why we all need to come together and save this vital resource.
“We are all Prestonians and know that when the going gets tough true Prestonians are always first to stand up and be counted. And this is one of those times when we need business people to come together, join forces and do something amazing by saving the centre..”
Chris McCrudden from Tandem Law concludes,
“We have no idea how the future will pan out. But by forming a separate entity we can ensure that any funds our campaign raises will be used to save the centre and not be swallowed up by an administrator. If the money we raise isn’t directly used to help the Space Centre then donations can be reclaimed or redirected as the donors see fit.”
For now, donations can be offered via The Space Centre on 01772 760 403, but more details will be revealed soon. To encourage participation, Prestonians can simply share appeals for action by sharing updates from @spacecentre on twitter feed or using the #sospace (.. stands for save our space) hashtag. Even simply liking the Facebook Page: ‘Save the Space Centre’ will help to make a small but important difference.