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Charity set to vacate Long Lane site to avoid funding deficit

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WARRINGTON based charity The Walton Lea Partnership is set to vacate its Long Lane site later this year and relocate staff and beneficiaries to Walton, to avoid a funding deficit of £40,000.

After a detailed review of their financial position, including discussions with Warrington Borough Council, Trustees have decided to move all Long Lane staff and beneficiaries to Walton Lea for a six month period before up to 30 beneficiaries move to the Walton Estate in April 2019.

There, thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and the borough council, they will share learning and work space with Myerscough College in the renewed Conservatory and Shippon building.

The charity, a small Warrington charity providing learning, development and supported employment in social enterprises for Learning Disabled Adults, will move from Long Lane in October 2018 and there will be no redundancies.

In a statement from the Trustees a spokesperson said: “Since June of 2013 Trustees have focused on maintaining the Charity’s solvency and sustainability to protect their Learning Disabled adults’ placements and staff jobs.

“Revenue from what staff and beneficiaries produce in their social enterprises provides extra income whilst public funding is frozen.

“Despite a great team effort we have never earned enough to deliver a healthy surplus or reserves. Year-on-year, inflation has edged upwards and service and utility costs, charges for insurance and maintaining our vans on the road have risen. Buildings on both sites have been patched-up but need urgent investment.

“It is a choice we did not want to make but we can’t afford escalating costs at both Long Lane and Walton Lea. Retaining Long Lane site would lead to a deficit of about £40,000 by the end of 2019/20, ending the Charity’s work.

“This is the reality of keeping a small charity going in 2018, but with help from WBC we are working hard to ensure changes happen as smoothly as possible for everyone. Beneficiaries and families are being informed by Easy Read.”

The Walton site is just over three miles away from Long Lane and Managers will meet beneficiaries and carers one-to-one ensuring they are supported throughout the transition.

The spokesperson added: “We value everyone’s support in ensuring that the Charity and our beneficiaries flourish as we make the changes essential to achieve this.”

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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