Threatened day centre in Lincoln saved from closure
A Lincoln day care centre has been saved from closure.
Ancaster Day Centre, in Boundary Street, will be taken over by a social enterprise after agreeing a five-year deal with Lincolnshire County Council.
And the group aims to be running the popular centre by March, 2013.
The service will be re-named Boundary Street Enterprise Centre.
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It comes as the Conservative-led county council hopes to secure privatisation ownership for all of its 31 day centres across Lincolnshire by March, 2014.
Group member Faye Cooper said: "We are delighted to have secured a long-term future for Ancaster Day Centre.
"We believe the service will not only continue, but develop as well. It will be more dynamic. It is the users' choice, their centre, their money. It will be completely what they want to do."
Early ideas indicate the new self-funded centre will have its own shop, selling items produced by its disabled adult users.
The facility will be open to anyone who wants to visit or use some of the facilities.
And it is thought that the centre will use its often under- used large car park to offer city shoppers cheap parking as a way of securing revenue.
"It really will be a site for everyone but with the focus on the learning disabled of course," continued Mrs Cooper.
"We need to be self-funded and the idea of the shop is an important one.
"A lot of our users will be doing woodwork and making teddy bears and we could maybe sell a few to help fund other activities."
The social enterprise will pay the county council rent during the five-year contract.
Opening times are set to be extended while evening activities will also be introduced.
Richard Collins, Lincolnshire County Council head of strategic development, said: "The council is aware of the interest shown by a co-operative of organisations who are seeking to develop the Ancaster Day Centre in Lincoln.
"Council officers have agreed to support the group in developing their ideas and their business plan to ensure the viability of the project.
"Although this is at a very early stage and is subject to a number of processes, all parties are working to progress it.
"The council continues to encourage and consider all proposals around the Ancaster Day Centre and its other day services."
Ancaster Day Centre is holding a summer fair between 11am and 2pm on Monday, August 20. For further details, contact Carol Webb on 01522 875030.