A group of residents from West Cumbria has worked with authorities to open a new community centre to benefit residents.

Allan Forster, a Copeland Councillor for Hillcrest ward in Whitehaven, has spearheaded the idea to develop the community centre on Hensingham for all to enjoy.

It is hoped that residents of all ages can use the newly reopened centre for an array of activities and is encouraging people to come forward with ideas.

Mr Forster said: "I asked the council if we could revert the building back to a community centre. So we set up a group to work on it to make the centre as diverse as possible for the community and we've now applied for a lease. There were a few concerns via the councillors but I think these have all now been addressed.

"We've now sorted a two year lease and we will soon be inviting everyone along and hopefully make a success of it."

For young people there will be activities like Taekwondo classes and Karate classes whilst for adults there will be bingo nights and opportunities for people to meet up.

Hillcrest Community Centre which was also used as Rascals Nursery went through difficulty back in 2021 and closed it's doors.

The building had served the community for over thirty years and was much loved by the community. It has been the property of Copeland County Council for a period of time so Allan took the opportunity to reinvent and reopen the centre.

Ryan Taylor, who is Chair of the initiative, added: "The centre is going to be for all the community catering to wide ranging age groups and activities. Some of our other ideas are farmers markets and afternoon teas. We want it to be a self supporting business. This is primarily for residents of Red Lonning and Hillcrest but will also be for the wider community."

Frankie Leigh High will be Secretary of the centre and Stan Sanczuc will also be heavily involved, amongst others. They all also thanked the town council and Copeland Borough Council for their support.