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2 The Shuttle APRIL2014 YOUR CALL IN ACTION COUNCIL LEADER KATE HOLLERN I am pleased that dozens of residents gathered to air their views and issues at the 100 voices forum which we organised last month. The event at King George’s Hall was an opportunity for residents to give their views or voice their concerns on issues which matter to them, their families and their communities. The audience was made up of residents from different walks of life and a number of issues and topics were discussed. Facilities for young people, how the Council is getting investment in the borough and the good work residents are doing under the Your Call campaign were among the topics discussed. Community togetherness, grit bins, children’s play areas and transport were also brought up where nothing was out of bounds and the agenda was set by residents. I chaired and my fellow councillors, Councillor Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Young People, and Councillor Mohammed Khan, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, were also on hand. It was a good meeting. The audience challenged us on issues but I also challenged them back. I said to them the only way we can improve the borough is working together. This is the very essence of our Your Call campaign - if you take the initiative, we will work with you. Similarly, if people come forward to raise issues of concern to them we will do our best to address them. This isn’t the only chance people will get but the first of many opportunities. MULTI-MILLION POUND INVESTMENT FOR THE BOROUGH ATHLETIC FACILITY The new £2.3m community athletics facility at Witton Park, Blackburn, is due to open soon. Home to Blackburn Harriers and Athletics Club; the new facility will include: improved changing facilities; spectator terracing; warm up/education room/social space and club room, indoor 60m warm up/training track (6 lane) and 45 station fitness suite with free weight area. Construction company, Eric Wright, are delivering the project. The existing running track will remain open to the Harriers, schools and members of the community throughout construction. Bus Station NEW SKATEPARK Plans for the borough’s first ever skatepark have been announced. The facility will be based in the former Blackburn Rovers Sports Academy building (BRSA) near to Darwen Vale School. It will be used by BMX bikes, skateboards, roller blades and scooters. It is due to open later this year. See page 9 for more details. BRAND NEW LEISURE CENTRE Building work is also progressing on the new £13.5million sports and swimming complex in Blackburn town centre. The joint project between Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackburn College will replace the ageing Waves Water fun centre. The new leisure centre is being built next to Feilden Street multi-storey car park. The sports halls and fitness areas will be ready for September 2014 and the swimming pools will open a year later. 100 Voices in action Councillor Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Leisure, Culture and Young People said: “There is lots of investment ongoing in leisure facilities in the borough. It is important to the health and wellbeing of our residents and young people.” Regeneration projects continue around the town centre: BLACKBURN CENTRAL LIBRARY The transformation of Blackburn Central Library is well underway. Cladding has been taken off Town Hall Street, unveiling the original 1920’s façade of the historic building. Work has now began on the Town Hall Street elevation and the restoration of the Northgate side of the building is almost complete. The work, which was necessary for health and safety reasons, will restore both elevations back to their original 1920’s appearance. BUS STATION Construction of Blackburn’s New Bus Station is due to start on the site of the former six day market off Ainsworth Street. It is a key part of the Pennine Reach £40m major transport project and will include 14 stands, will be fully covered and feature the latest technology. It is due to be completed in early 2015. Cathedral Quarter CATHEDRAL QUARTER Work is progressing well on the £30m Cathedral Quarter development which includes a hotel, office, leisure and retail space, Clergy Court (residential) and new public realm space. The toilet block has been demolished and work was due to start on the demolition of Jubilee House in March. Work is also expected to have started on the Clergy Court, the Cathedral’s new residential building, which includes offices and a refectory open to the public, in the New Year. FORMER MARKET SITE An outline planning application has been submitted by the Council for the former market site of the three day market. It will be redeveloped into a retail store, which also offers food. Councillor Maureen Bateson, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “2014 is an important year for the regeneration of the borough. There are lots of major projects ongoing which will continue to transform the town centre and improve the offer – leisure, shopping, visiting – for residents, businesses and visitors.” Opening in Blackburn with Darwen in 2014/15 NEW LEISURE CENTRE NEW ATHLETICS FACILITY NEW SKATE PARK Painful choices - page six, seven and eight

For more information about all Council Services see The Shuttle 3 ROYAL SEAL OF APPROVAL FOR TOWN CENTRE REGENERATION Mohammed Varachia, 22, from Blackburn said: “I think the Queen coming to Blackburn is really exciting and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s good for the town because it will bring people into Blackburn and the Queen is highly respected. His friend Hussain Jasseat, 23, from Blackburn said: “The town may also become more recognised if it’s in the news because people will see it and want to come. We feel appreciated that the Queen is coming to Blackburn and we will definitely be attending.” Continued from front The tradition dates back to the 13th Century. The occasion is seen as a Royal Seal of approval for the new additions as part of the Cathedral Quarter development which is key to the regeneration of the town centre. While the event is principally to mark an important day in the Christian calendar, The Queen’s visit is also an important day for the Cathedral and the town of Blackburn, currently undergoing a resurgence thanks to a series of redevelopments in the town centre. These include the new Cathedral Quarter, an 118,000 sq ft development which will comprise a clergy court which will house senior members of the clergy and lay staff adjacent to Blackburn Cathedral; a hotel, 37,000 sq ft of offices, restaurants, shops and a new public square and bus interchange. The Lancashire recipients of The Royal Maundy money and the detailed arrangements surrounding the event will all be announced in due course. The Maundy Service itself will be ticketed and invitation-only. • Her Majesty’s last visit to Blackburn came on May 25 2006 as part of her 80th Birthday tour of the United Kingdom. GET INVOLVED VED Although the visit is primarily for the private Royal Maundy service which is ticketed/ invitation only, the wider community is being invited to get involved. Special arrangements are being made so that people can welcoming the Royal party. Barriers will be in place throughout the town centre on the day to give visitors the chance to catch a glimpse of The Queen making her way to Blackburn thedral. A royal theme is set to take over the town in the run up to the visit. Community groups, Caschools and businesses WHAT YOU THINK... are also being urged to think about how they can play a part and make the most of this special occasion which will shine the spotlight on Blackburn. Dozens of volunteers are set to take part in the Your Call clean up ahead of the visit and others will act as marshals on the day. School children from across the borough are expected to get involved by making flags and memorabilia to celebrate the visit. Further updates about the visit and all the activities in the run up to the big day will be given on the Council’s website soon – visit at Alex Martindale, 33, from Blackburn, said: “Im not a royalist myself but its good that the Queen is coming to Blackburn , it will bring in extra business to shops .” Michael Holt from Blackburn said: “I think the Queen coming to Blackburn for the day will bring a lot of people into the town, not permanently but a lot will come just for the day.” Angela Creeon from Blackburn said: “Certain people will like to go and see the Queen. It’s nice of the Queen to come to Blackburn, it’s going to be good for the town.” Francis Townley, 84, from Blackburn said: “The Queen has had 65 years on the throne and she’s done us good. I think William and Harry are also really good. I see the Queen on the television at Christmas whilst shes doing her speech, that’s the only time I really see her. It would be great to see her in person.” Sharn Farazian, a business and law student at Blackburn College said: “I like the Queen and the Royals so think it will be good for Blackburn but I like Kate the best, I think she’s a good role model for young people.” Fellow student Jordan Fletcher, 20, said: “I think it’s good for the Cathedral and town to have such a high profile person coming to visit.” Yaseen Majid, 40, from Blackburn, said: “I think it’s an excellent way to raise the profile of the Cathedral. The Cathedral needs money for its restoration. Hopefully the Queen’s visit will put the Cathedral on the radar of the likes of the Lottery Fund to help them raise vital funds. It may also help Blackburn bid to become a City which would be great for the borough.” SEE PICTURES OF THE BOROUGH AT WWW.FLICKR.COM/BLACKBURN-WITH-DARWEN

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