Preston-headquartered Conlon Construction has begun work at the YMCA National Centre, Lakeside – a project which plans to ‘change the lives of one million more young people’.
Based on the banks of Lake Windermere, the outdoor education centre was established more than 60 years ago and currently offers residential and day camp experiences for young people aged 10 to 24, providing more than 50 outdoor activities.
Having managed the 100 acre site since 2008, YMCA Fylde Coast purchased the land in 2011, with plans for a three stage redevelopment. The charity’s vision will see the land transformed to create a world leading outdoor activity centre, comprising a 265 bed school facility, a 60 bed training centre and 12 new eco family lodges.
The first stage of the total £15m project sees the demolition of a number of existing 1950s buildings in order to start construction of the purpose-built school facility.
Conlon Construction is working together with YMCA Fylde Coast to keep the site operational throughout the redevelopment, ensuring it remains a valuable resource for youth groups and schools who are continuing to use the facilities.
Currently, more than 7,000 young people visit YMCA Lakeside each year and it is estimated that upon completion, this will grow to 10,000.
YMCA Fylde Coast CEO, John Cronin, commented: “After many years in the planning we were pleased to be able to appoint Conlon Construction as the contractor responsible for bringing this extremely important project to life. This purpose-built school facility will ensure we continue to impact on the lives of those young people who attend Lakeside and we can’t wait to open the doors to them in 2019.”
Although planning permission was granted in 2014, YMCA Fylde Coast has fundraised for the last seven years to bring this project to fruition and is still working hard to secure the final £100,000.
With completion of phase one due in March 2019, new facilities will also include eight recreation rooms, an integrated climbing wall, onsite catering and dining room.
Darren Lee, commercial director at Conlon Construction, added: “Everyone involved in this project is committed to securing the future of YMCA Lakeside. Being able to improve their current provision, which gives great opportunities to young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, is something we’re extremely proud to be involved with.”
Working alongside Conlon Construction on the project is lead consultants, Cassidy + Ashton.
Alistair Baines, chairman at Cassidy + Ashton, concluded: “We feel privileged to be involved in a project which we know will make a significant difference to the lives of young people all over the country. The YMCA do an amazing job and to be appointed as their architect to help deliver their vision in this wonderful lakeside location is truly exciting.”