What was happening around the Lancaster district 25, 10 and five years ago? Find out here.
25 Years Ago
Resources in the battle against the spread of AIDS and HIV infection were to target the West End of Morecambe, where health workers had found an increase in drug misuse. The annual AIDS control report to Lancaster Health Authority highlighted the need for a support centre in Morecambe to help stem the risk of HIV infection through needle sharing.
Privatisation of more hospital services could lead to up to 60 job losses among health workers across the district. To prepare for compulsory competitive tendering of hospital building maintenance work, at least 41 jobs would have to be shed, Lancaster Health Authority agreed. And to make the remaining 120 jobs competitive, bonus and overtime payments could also be cut.
Radical alterations to the city’s St Nicholas Square shopping centre were to follow demolition work in Lower Church Street. There was to be a new link to Cheapside through the site of Fine Fare, and the Great John street elevations would be substantially re-worked.
10 Years Ago
Ambitious plans for a £4million revamp of Lancaster’s Storey Institute were under threat because of a funding crisis. A £200million black hole had appeared in budgets at the North West Development Agency (NWDA) which was to be a major backer of the scheme. The citycCouncil was warned that cash expected from the NWDA was at risk. NWDA problems also cast a cloud over cash for the Luneside East urban village and the Midland Hotel in Morecambe.
Football-mad council chief Roger Muckle had won tickets to the European Championships in Portugal after winning a slogan competition. The Lancaster City Council director won with the slogan ‘Follow the Roaring Lions – the Pride of all England’, which was to be placed on the England Football team’s coach.
Governors of Lancaster and Morecambe College had approved redundancy measures to help the debt-ridden college recover. The college’s governing body met with cost-cutting plans at the top of the agenda. This followed an announcement in January that up to 42 members of staff could lose their jobs in an attempt to make up deficits totalling £2.7m. Forty-one staff had left the college through mutual agreement or been redeployed elsewhere.
Businesses on Lancaster quay said they were being “kept in the dark” about multi-million pound plans to develop the Luneside East site. Some businesses in the St George’s Quay area had complained that they had not been kept up-to-date about proposals to buy the site and still didn’t know when they were expected to move out. A council spokeswoman said that over the past few months the council had “gone to great lengths” to keep businesses informed.
5 Years Ago
The public inquiry into the proposed £150million Centros development of Lancaster city centre was to get under way. But some key retail buildings were already undergoing major changes. The city’s former Tourist Information Centre (TIC) had been sold at auction for £375,000 and could be turned into a showroom for a stone flooring specialist. And work had also begun on fitting out Lancaster’s new TK Maxx store. The cut-price fashion and homeware outlet was due to open in the former Woolworths premises in Market Square, creating 32 new full and part-time jobs. A bidding war broke out at the auction at Manchester United Football Club for the former TIC and neighbouring Grade II listed Merchants pub. The council sold the buildings to Staveley-based RR Stone Co Ltd for at least £25,000 more than the guide price.
Morecambe’s motorbike superstar John McGuinness took his 15th TT victory in the Dainese Superbike race at the Isle of Man TT, moving one ahead of legend Mike Hailwood. He took the event by 18.55 seconds from his HM Plant Honda team-mate Steve Plater after taking the lead on his first lap and then recording the fastest ever lap time on the Mountain Circuit on lap two with 130.442mph.