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Sophie Lancaster Foundation may need a new HQ
THE Sophie Lancaster Foundation is among the charities facing an uncertain future after its Haslingden head-quarters was put up for sale.
Signs marketing the Agapao Impact Centre, in Bury Road, went up on Tuesday.
Sylvia Lancaster, who started the Foundation after her daughter Sophie’s murder in 2007, said the thought of having to relocate was ‘a bit of a nightmare’.
The building, formerly the New Thorn Hotel, underwent a £267,000 redevelopment when it opened as the Mary Hindle Resource Centre in July 2000 – work which included £138,000 of lottery funding.
Sylvia, who found out the building was being sold last week, believes the Foundation is now in the hands of any potential buyer.
She said: “We don’t know what the future holds. It’s a very uncertain time for us.
“Everything depends on who buys the building. If it’s a commercial investor, we will probably have to leave, or we would see our rent costs increase, which we couldn’t afford.
“It will be devastating if we have to move. We haven’t got time to be looking for a new place as it distracts from the work we are trying to do.”
The Foundation has been based in the centre for two-and-a-half years.
Alison Mather, from Home-Start Rossendale, a family support charity based at the centre for 18 months is equally disappointed. She said: “This will definitely affect our work. We might not have an office. It has been an excellent base for us and it would be a shame to leave.
“We heard rumours it might ‘potentially’ be sold, but it would have been nice to have been kept a bit more in the loop.
“The projected budgets we have will go out the window.”
Nobody from Agapao International, which has operated the building since 2009, was avail-able for comment.
Trever Dawson Chartered Surveyors, which is marketing the property, confirmed that it was on the market for £250,000.