Former Money Lenders Office will now help transform Blackpool life

The ACT Community Partnership, a community-interest enterprise offering advice, guidance and training, has obtained planning permission to open a new center on the South Shore.

The premises on the corner of Waterloo Road and Bond Street previously operated as a pawnbroker and moneylender’s office, but have been empty for around five years.

Documents submitted with the planning application indicate that the ACT center will provide services including advice on social rights and assistance to job seekers.

This former pawnbroker is ready for a new lease of life

It will work with a number of other community groups “all of whom are specialists in their respective fields and have fully trained staff to support their work who will use the center on a daily basis to deliver their services”.

Sessions will include teaching basic math, English and computer skills as well as “training to help people find jobs”, while mental health counseling will also be offered.

Five staff members are expected to be based at the centre, along with volunteer advisers and tutors if needed.

The centre’s work is supported by Counseling In The Community CIC, Blackpool Center for the Unemployed (social rights and counselling) and St Antony’s Center (community training provider).

The proposed hours of use of the premises would be 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Council planners approved the request using their delegated authority.

A report outlining the decision says: “Economically, it would create jobs for the people who run the center, but also provide opportunities to train residents to improve their own employment opportunities and increase their chances in the job market.

“Environmentally, the change of use would be a sustainable development that would bring a redundant building back into service, improve the exterior of the building, which would enhance the appearance and character of the district center.

“Socially, the development would create sustainable economic development to strengthen the local economy and meet Blackpool’s employment needs.”

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