Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News

Advice service launches premises fundraiser


CITIZENS Advice Halton has launched a fundraisin­g campaign to move into new premises after it was ejected from its former Runcorn office to make way for a flats conversion.

The service now wants to open a branch in Shopping City, having had to vacate neighbouri­ng Grosvenor House, also known as Halton 5.

It follows 30 years based in the building.

Although Citizens Advice Halton has a Widnes branch, it said

Runcorn residents have attested to the serious need for a branch in Runcorn too.

The estimated cost of converting a shop unit exceeds £200,000, with half already secured via grants from Halton Borough Council (BC) and the Liverpool City Region.

Hitesh Patel, Citizens Advice Halton chief executive, said: “We had to vacate our offices in the former Halton 5-Grosvenor House office block, next to old Runcorn law courts, where we have been for over 30 years, because the landlord wanted to convert the building to residentia­l flats.

“We have found a great space for new premises in Runcorn Shopping City.

“However, to do this and turn it into a modern, profession­al advice centre, it will cost over £200,000.

“We have now secured half of this thanks to support from Halton BC and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, but there is still a long way to go.” Mr Patel said that despite lockdown, in 2020-21 Citizens Advice Halton helped more than 5,000 people with more than 17,000 issues, and assisted in securing more than £4m of extra income via benefit applicatio­ns and appeals, debts managed or written off and resolved consumer problems.

He added: “As a charity, we rely on the support and generosity of the public and private sectors and also the generosity of members of the public.

“We welcome any donation, no matter how small.

“All the money we receive will go directly into helping us move to our new premises and keeping our charity operating and ensuring our services are as effective as possible.”

Grosvenor House on Northway in Runcorn is currently subject to planning permission for conversion into flats.

● To visit the donation page visit uk.virginmone­ and search for “Donate to Halton Citizens Advice Bureau”.

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