Fight for new health centre in Colne goes on

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COLNE councillors have made an urgent plea to NHS bosses for a new health centre.

At their last meeting, Pendle Council’s Colne and District Committee welcomed Jackie Hadwen from East Lancashire Building Partnership who gave an update on plans for the long-awaited centre.

A scheme to build a £10m. new centre in Colne ground to a halt last year when cuts to NHS funding rendered the scheme unaffordable.

For the past few months Ms Hadwen has been putting together a locality development programme to find an affordable solution for Colne’s health care provision.

She said: “We have been looking at a number of options which include a scaled down new build, refurbishing the old health centre and working with a third party investor.”

In 2009 the NHS bought the former Kwik Save site in the town centre and was given consent for the 5,000 sq. metre development.

Ms Hadwen said although the original development would not be able to go ahead due to lack of funding, it could be possible to use half of the site for a new centre and use the other half of for something which will generate income.

She said a new build would be a preferred option as it would probably cost less than renovating the old health centre in Market Street.

“We are conscious of increasing expectation as we know this has been done in the past and it was a huge letdown when the original plan for a new health centre didn’t go ahead.

“We need £3.5m. to fund any of the options I have shown you. Iit is still a big ask to progress,” she said.

Coun. Ann Kerrigan reiterated her pleas for a new health centre in the town. She said: “There is a staggering need to improve the health centre in Colne. At the moment our health care is inadequate, vulnerable and elderly people are forced