FOR the manager of one Carlisle community centre, delivering services is about much more than making money.

Just off Wigton Road, Morton Manor Community Centre has been at the heart of the community for more than 50 years.

Manager Tim Linford took on the role almost six months ago and is already starting to see improvements.

But in the drive to make the centre financially sustainable in the long term, Tim thinks it’s important not to be distracted from their core values.

“We have to see where we sit in the community,” explained Tim.

“We can’t expect a return on everything we do for the community; we can’t do that.

“We have a responsibility to the community and not all of it is income driven.”

In that spirit, Tim is looking to expand the site’s offering in a different area as well.

“We are looking at how we can support local charities as well, making it a venue for those types of events, particularly local charities that we all hold close to our hearts.

“We feel that is important.”

A range of sport and exercise activities are also on offer, such as the pilates classes and clubbercise sessions (a fusion of dance, toning and combat moves).

Sports activities at the centre include:


  • Beginners short mat bowling - 2pm - 4pm
  • Taekwondo - 4pm - 6pm
  • Clubercise - 6.15pm - 7.15pm and 7.15pm - 8.15pm


  • Circuits Moky - 6pm - 7pm
  • Intermediate pilates - 7.30pm - 8.20pm (Contact Christianne on 07809440485 to book)


  • Popular sequence dancing - 7.15pm - 10.30pm


  • Circuits Moky - 6pm - 7pm

As well as sports activities, the centre also hosts bingo between 7pm and 9pm on Mondays, as well as a senior lunch on Wednesdays.

The senior club is so popular that it currently operates a waiting list for anyone wanting to join.

“We need to do something for our younger members at the centre as well,” said Tim, who wants to make the on-site gym more attractive to younger people.

“It is all about providing positive activities for younger people.”

Recent anti-social behaviour in the area has highlighted the need for good community facilities, according to Tim.

“We are passionate about the problems facing young people and we want to play our part.

“It’s very difficult nowadays to open it up to what you and I would call a youth club, there are very few of those now.

“We’ve got to have a carrot to get the kids in and we feel that the gym we’ve got here is the big carrot to get young people in.

“That is something we are going to try and lead on in the next couple of months.”

Tim is hoping to acquire some small to medium grants to improve the equipment available at the facility and to encourage more people in.

“We know that kids want to be ‘body beautiful’ and look fit, but for young people you need to have an instructor there to make sure they don’t go overboard and do something that is going to be damaging to their health, which is why we are looking to get good, skilled, qualified people in to do the instruction with the young people.

“While you’re using the opportunity of the gym, it is about drilling good behaviours into them. It’s about controlling their aggression, it’s about putting some responsibility into it as well.

“Try to get them to change their attitude in the way they do things, but we can only do that if there is a carrot to get them in in the first place.

“We want to make good use of the gym.”

Tim continued: “At the moment the equipment is quite tired; some of the equipment has been there quite a long while.

“Any funding that we get will allow us to refresh some of the gym equipment.

“It’s all safe and working, because it’s checked on a weekly basis. However, some of it is coming to the end of its natural life.”

One bid will be submitted to Cumbria Police’s crime commissioner, Peter McCall. Support will also be requested from Cumbria County Council, as well as funding from National Lottery Awards for All.

Since Tim took over the role of manager, he’s been pleased with the progress. “We are getting there. It’s been very much in line with what we thought.

“Coming up to six months in the post we have had some notable successes, getting us to where we want to be.

“The building is looking terrific, after lots of refurbishing.”

The manager also confirmed that the popular “Manor Fest” community event will return in June next year.

Tim is asking for the support of local businesses to either provide equipment or offer in-kind support.

To find out more about what is going on at the centre, visit the Morton Manor Community Centre Facebook page or visit