Life Church community centre build on hold

The Life Church on Sycamore Avenue in Burnley has had the work postponed. G140611/1
The Life Church on Sycamore Avenue in Burnley has had the work postponed. G140611/1

A MAJOR community centre planned by a Burnley evangelical church has been put on hold – to the frustration of neighbours.

Life Church, in Sycamore Avenue, Gannow, was four years into creating an ambitious new building that would house a 550-seat auditorium, conference rooms, hospitality areas and offices.

But work has stopped on the building after the firm carrying out the work went into liquidation. Project manager Mr Mark Hirst said more funding was also needed but added the church was “hopeful” work could resume soon.

Sycamore Avenue resident Mr Bill Brown lives opposite the site. He said: “We have been looking at a building site for almost four years and now work has stopped altogether. The fence in front is the worst part and the site could become a target for vandals.

“If we wanted to sell our properties it would be a non-starter because of the eyesore across the road.”

But Mr Hirst said the church was working to find another contractor and cash to finish the project.

“Once completed, the building will be an excellent community centre for everyone. We are as frustrated as the residents because we want it to be finished and it is for them after all.

“The church is mindful of residents’ concerns and often apologise if we speak to them. We don’t have a figure at the moment but we are pursuing lenders and always receive donations from the congregation.”

Mr Hirst said volunteers from the church had recently tidied the front of the site and were hoping to level a nearby field to use as a playfield.

The church’s website asks for potential “Building Partners” who can make a monthly financial commitment to the project.