Burnley’s much-vaunted “Retreat and Recover” centre will be closing after this Saturday’s overnight session.
The shock closure is believed to be due to later drinking by night time revellers, which has led to less visitors in recent months to the Hammerton Street centre which closes at 3am.
Staff from the Emergency Services have been on hand during busy weekend nights until 3am, but have found that there are now fewer calls on their support, with people continuing to use the clubs and town centre venues beyond that time.
The well-known Street Pastors project will continue, with volunteers now operating out of the Central Methodist Church.
A spokesman for Burnley Borough Council said: “Given that the numbers of people using the have dropped, the issue of value for money has arisen.
“It is also the case that the Urgent Care Centre in Burnley has had an influence on footfall, with people needing medical treatment heading there.”
Coun. Tony Harrison, Burnley Council’s Executive member for community services, said: “The health workers, police officers, council staff and volunteers involved in this centre have done a brilliant job. I am sorry to see it go.
“At the same time, this decision is a product of the centre’s success. People who regularly come into town are now more aware about safety and support issues than they were.”
And the possibility is under consideration of running a temporary retreat and recover over busy periods like Christmas and New Year, which see additional numbers come into town to be part of the night time economy. Mobile units or “pop up” shops could be used.
The centre was damaged last February when a drunk driver crashed into it. It has been operating as normal since May.