The demolition of a disused 1930s Preston Catholic church is underway as plans to build a care home in its place gather pace.
Diggers are on the site of the old St Teresa’s RC Church in Church Avenue, Fishwick, tearing it down brick by brick for a three-storey care home in its place.
The care home, which is being constructed by Yorkshire-based Exemplar Health Care – is estimated to create a total of 150 jobs through the care it provides for adults aged from 18 to 65 who need round the clock care for illnesses such as motor neurone disease.
The Bishop of Lancaster, Reverend Paul Swarbrick, said: “News of the intention to demolish the building and put up a care home is welcome in that a need is being met.
“In all probability Catholics will be resident in the home, will be employed by the home and parishioners will find a place for their elderly and vulnerable family members.
“We are delighted to hear of this development and pray for its success.”
Euan Craig, Chief Executive of Exemplar said: “We’ve partnered with local NHS and social care commissioners across the North West and we know that the region lacks specialist nursing care for people with complex conditions.
"Our new service in Preston will provide people living in the area this very specialist care, closer to home.
“Our new service will also create around 150 new jobs for care staff, specialist nurses, maintenance and other support staff and we’ll be recruiting soon.
"We’re also really pleased to announce that a new community space, known as The Hub, will be open to local groups and charities for their events and meetings."
Mr Craig added: “The new home also needs a name! Over the coming months we’ll be asking the local community to share their ideas about what to call our new home.”
Plans for the site were approved at last July’s planning committee, with members noting that objections had been received but that the loss of the church is “acceptable” as the site hasn’t been used for church purposes for “a number of years”.
Over the next four weeks, works will continue to demolish the existing church and buildings and clear the site ready for work to start on the care home.
Building contractors, Strategic Team Group, have carefully salvaged slate and stone for future works and will preserve the statue of Mary from the front of the church.
The church closed for worship in 2011.