Rehab centre will be a lifeline for ex-soldiers

New vision: Artists impressions of a rehabilitation centre in Heapey
New vision: Artists impressions of a rehabilitation centre in Heapey
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A REHABILITATION centre for ex-servicemen and others who have lost limbs could be built in Lancashire.

The centre – with 17 cabins, a pool, gym and running track – is aimed at people who have suffered traumatic injury, including servicemen and women injured in the line of duty.

It’s going to be exciting, it’s something that Chorley needs

Applicant Ann Nikolakis, of Raebet Developments Ltd has submitted the proposal, which includes a car park and access road, for land 100m east of Wheelton House in Brinscall Mill Road, Heapey.

Her aim, along with her four brothers and sisters, is to create a dedicated rehab centre focusing on physical rehabilitation following acute trauma and sports injury.

The centre will also offer treatment for patients with Alzheimer’s, who have suffered strokes, heart attacks and Cystic Fibrosis and support dementia research.

“It’s going to be exciting, it’s something that Chorley needs,” said Ann, who has a background in dairy farming.

“As a family what we want to do is give something back to the community in Chorley.

“We were able to obtain the land and after many conversations we thought it would make a great rehab centre. Both my children are very sporty and we didn’t want to use the land for housing. We wanted to use it so that the community could get involved.”

Along with Ann, her siblings, Francis Wilby, Christine Delaney, and Michael and David Roworth have all put money into a pot to see the centre become a reality.

Ann added: “We know there’s a need because I have got several friends who have got various types of disabilities and they don’t feel comfortable going in public swim baths.

“Some do but others are quite uncomfortable.”

Ann was also keen to stress that the development, if it is given the green light, will prioritise people in Chorley, then Lancashire. “People from Chorley come first,” she said. “It’s also going to be set in a rural area specifically because people going through rehab do well in that kind of setting.”

Although Ann and her family have no experience in running rehab centres they have partnered with an organisation which they are confident will help them provide the best service possible – although at this stage she was not willing to reveal which organisation.

The public consultation period finishes on Thursday, December 1 and the plans are set to come before Chorley Council on Monday, January 30.