Backing for Palace opening

The Friends of St Annes Palace has been set up to promote the Garden St venue, opening up the Freemasons headquarters as a new community hub.'Exterior of the building.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'12-1-2015
The Friends of St Annes Palace has been set up to promote the Garden St venue, opening up the Freemasons headquarters as a new community hub.'Exterior of the building. PIC BY ROB LOCK'12-1-2015

St Annes traders are backing plans to convert a once secretive building into a community hub.

An open day next month will offer details of plans to make the St Annes Palace, a former theatre owned since 1958 by Lytham St Annes Freemasons, available to organisations and individuals for meetings and a wide variety of other events.

The Friends of St Annes Palace has been established to promote the idea and has applied for charitable status.

St Annes Chamber of Trade chairman John Moxham said: “It is a great idea and I am sure it will do well.

“The Palace is in a great position in the centre of town and I’m sure will prove popular as a meeting and social venue.”

The open day is already proving popular, with some 30 organisations and individuals having already confirmed their intention to attend.

They range from the AFC Fylde Community Foundation to the Fylde 50-Plus Forum, while Fylde Decorative and Fine Arts Society and the Tagging The Treasures group, which works on cataloguing items from the Lytham St Annes Art Collection, will also be among those represented.

Bev Sykes, a trustee of the Friends of St Annes Palace whose organisation Just Good Friends already uses the Garde Street venue for weekly meetings, said: “These facilities being made available and having them all under one roof is going to make a massive difference to the community.

“Up to now, potential meeting places in the area have been so scattered. Everywhere should have a community hub such as The Palace.”

The open day on Saturday, February 7 from 10am to 4pm will be opened by singer Anne Nolan. Details from 07557 734233.