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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Former Carlisle boys' club may become home for troubled teens

Plans to turn a former boys’ club into a home for troubled teenagers have been revealed.

Currock Villa photo
Currock Villa

Hopscotch Care wants to convert Currock Villa in Currock, Carlisle, into a residential children’s home for up to five young people aged 11 to 17.

The three-storey Currock Road building was once home to a boys’ club but has deteriorated in recent years. The Carlisle Villa boxing club is based at the back of the building.

Applicant Hopscotch Care said it wants to establish a home in Cumbria as there are six or seven residents living at its other home in Carnforth, Lancashire, and all of them apart from one come from the county originally.

Richard Witts, company director, told the News & Star: “We are keen to ensure our young people are placed as close to their home towns as possible.

“Some young people are travelling from Carnforth to Carlisle, Penrith and Workington.”

The building is owned by Young Cumbria and Mr Witts said Hopscotch Care would rent it if the plans are approved.

“It has been vacant for three years and there have been attempts to sell it but it has deteriorated into a poor condition and hasn’t been able to sell,” he added.

The company works with young people from various backgrounds including foster care or parents who can no longer look after them.

Some may have had traumatic experiences and have been in placements before but the majority come from disfunctional families which have led to the young people having to deal with difficult experiences, Mr Witt explained.

He also said the firm plans to employ 13 or 14 members of staff.

“We have a high staff to resident ratio and we work with them to get them in a position to live independently and gain employment or training,” Mr Witt said.

He also revealed that the costs for the project have not yet been drawn up but expects it to be “close to six figures”.

The scheme is due to go out to public consultation before being considered by Carlisle City Council planners. Plans were lodged with the city council this week.

Have your say

Having read comments below there seem to be concerns that these children will add to local antisocial behaviour problems? The problem to me seems to be not the children who are to be looked after at the villa but those who already live in the vicinity. Perhaps people and parents should be tackling that problem! It is good that the villa children are being given a chance in life. I just hope that they don't become a target for bullying from local children and then be blamed for the added antisocial behaviour.

Posted by Anon on 12 October 2013 at 13:29

Parking is all folk are bothered about these days .what if a large family bought the house and had three cars would they still complain.i think its a good idea that this large house is going to get the use it needs .i live near shops carnt park outside house sometimes but its no disaster .

Posted by anon on 9 October 2013 at 08:45

View all 16 comments on this article

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