Leyland’s award-winning Worden Park is set to get a new attraction when a leading charity moves into part of Worden Hall.
Shaw Trust is to relocate into the Derby Wing and the lower Brew House of the historic hall after the move was approved by South Ribble Council’s cabinet members at a meeting last week.
The charity, which has helped disabled and disadvantaged people prepare for work, find jobs and live more independently in Leyland for the past seven years, needs a new home because it must leave its current base on West Paddock later this year.
As part of the move, Shaw Trust will open its doors to the public at Worden Park and offer a wide range of community arts and crafts activities, including painting, pottery, woodwork and joinery, for people visiting the park. It will also support events such as Leyland Festival and Christmas activities.
The charity plans to spend £30,000 on upgrading the Derby Wing, including new security, decorating and electrical works, and the council will invest in excess of £30,000 on upgrading footpaths around the building and some lighting in the car park.
Coun Phil Smith, cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration, leisure and healthy communities, said: “I’m delighted Shaw Trust wants to invest in the future of Worden Park and I wish them every success with this venture.
“This move will bring a new dimension to the park and has the potential to be a real win-win scenario for the trust, visitors to the park and the council.
“We’ve been working very hard for quite some time to find ways of making better use of the buildings at the heart of the park, so this is a really exciting step for us.
“It’s also a timely opportunity for us to carry out the footpath improvements we’d already been planning, so they’re ready for when Shaw Trust moves in.”
Teresa Lloyd, head of community accounts for the Shaw Trust in Lancashire, said: “We have been looking for new premises for some time and Worden Park fits the bill perfectly. The extra space will not only allow us to offer people a wider range of opportunities, but it also puts us right at the heart of the local community.
“We would eventually like to expand further by taking over the Marsden Theatre and Conservatory as well as the Derby Wing.”