New autism centre to open 

10/04/14
Photo of people outside the new autism centre
Service user Lucie Plimley (centre) celebrates the opening of the new autism centre at Thicketford with representatives from Bolton Council and GB Building Solutions

A new facility for adults with learning and physical disabilities is set to open on the site of a former social club.

The former Labour club, on Ainsworth Lane, Tonge Moor, has undergone a radical transformation thanks to £2 million of capital investment from Bolton Council.

The building has benefited from internal refurbishment, improved vehicular access and car parking.

It opens on Monday, April 14 and will provide a range of adult disability services, including a specialist day centre for adults with autism; a further day centre for adults with learning and physical disabilities; sensory services for people who are hard of hearing and visually impaired; and office accommodation for staff.

The first service to open at the centre will be the specialist autism service, which is currently situated at Falcon View, plus a disability day centre for adults aged between 18 and 65, with the remaining services moving in over the next few weeks.

The new facility is situated adjacent to Thicketford House - an active ageing centre providing day centre facilities for older people - and Tonge Moor Health Centre, and will form part of an inclusive “campus” of facilities.

Bolton Council’s Deputy Leader, Councillor Linda Thomas, said: “It’s a real achievement to be able to provide such fantastic facilities for those service users with more complex needs and the new centre is something we’re extremely proud of.

“We’ve worked with service users and their families throughout the building process and I’m sure everyone is looking forward to moving in. The centre is lovely and spacious and the facilities are modern, welcoming and easily accessible.”

Stephen Longhurst of GB Building Solutions said: “Our site team has worked hard with Bolton Council and the local community, including the neighbouring Tonge Moor Primary School, during the remodelling of the fire-damaged social club into a fantastic new autism, sensory and day care centre.

“It’s clear that the new facilities will benefit the local community hugely, and we are proud of the role we have played in keeping everyone fully updated on the project’s progress so that we can all celebrate together its completion, on time and to budget, before Easter.”

The transfer of services to the new centre at Thicketford forms part of a wider reorganisation of disability day services in the borough, aimed at improving the quality of provision.

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Karen Spibey
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