Where It All Started

Leasowe Millennium Centre is a building for the people, by the people.

In August 1999 the Leasowe Regeneration Partnership Board approved the Millennium Centre Project, which was then known as the “Leasowe Shed”.   Work began in March 2000 and by April 2001 staff and tenants were able to move in.

During October 2000, the Leasowe Regeneration Partnership held a number of workshops and an Away Day visit to Vauxhall Millennium Centre, Liverpool. The workshops and day were facilitated by AKRONYM Consultants and the aims were to decide the best way forward to manage the Millennium Centre and work on regeneration issues across the estate.

Out of the discussions came the decision to set up a Company Ltd by Guarantee and apply for charity status; and this company would run the centre and look at wider regeneration issues across the estate.

The company was set up soon after with five directors.

In July 2001, some of the directors, community members and reps from organisations went to visit the Hollymore Centre in Birmingham.  This was to see how their trust was run and discuss our own aims and objectives.

After this and much more community consultation, the Leasowe Trust Board structure was agreed.

Leasowe Trust’s first Annual report tells about the progress and achievements made from the incorporation on 13 December 2000 to the end of March 2002. Everyone involved with the Trust worked extremely hard to establish a range of activities that are an excellent foundation for any community organisation to be involved with, in such a short timescale. A major achievement has to be the establishment of Leasowe Millennium Centre, handed over to the Trust to manage in April 2001; there was an immense challenge for the Directors and staff to get the building open and functioning for the tenants and members of the public to use.

Opened by Angela Eagle MP on Monday 23 April 2001, Leasowe Millennium Centre was home to Leasowe Women’s Centre, Leasowe Library, Wirral Metropolitan College CLIC 3 and Action Team for Jobs. A “State of the Art” kitchen and newly employed Chef Manager with the support of the  Development Worker soon had the Community Café up and running providing healthy, nutritious meals at affordable prices (in an area designated as a food desert).

A number of Managed Workspaces were developed for rent, with Action Team for Jobs taking the first unit.  The hall was designed for conferences and meetings. The cafe would provide catering and hospitality for conferences, be it tea and coffee, a finger buffet or a full 6 course meal.

The hall was also intended to be used for other functions such as children’s parties, weddings, christenings, etc. It is also where Belly Dancing, Yoga, Aerobics and Dance Classes can be held.

Other services developed at the time included an Education and Advice Service and Wallasey Citizens Advice Bureau. Services such as free faxing and photocopying were (and still are) also offered to Leasowe residents.

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