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Charity frustrated as party on new £2m town square postponed over works delays fears

But the council says the square remains on track to officially open in November

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Accrington town square

Town centre chiefs have insisted Accrington’s new £2 million town square remains on schedule - despite its launch event being postponed.

Environmental charity the Prospects Foundation has decided to put off its 20th anniversary fun day - scheduled for Saturday, August 11 - amid fears over works delays.

The fun day was due to be the first event held on the public square, although its official opening is in November.

Prospects said the completion of the community event space had been put back ‘a week or two’ and organisers deemed the gap between works finishing and the celebration day too small to risk.

Mike Stapleford, from Prospects, said: “We really ran out of time in terms of organising and having everything in place.

“They (the council) put the date back for completion of the square to August 6. We were slightly worried that it could drift.

“It was only a week or two but we were involving lots of partners so didn’t want to mess them around. It gives us time to put on something bigger and plan it better.”

Work on the Hyndburn council scheme began in August last year.

At the time the Hyndburn Chamber of Trade raised concerns that it should have begun earlier but were assured it was on track.

In postponing the event a statement from the Prospects Foundation said: “It’s with a great deal of disappointment and frustration that we are having to postpone our event.

“We were due to be the first event held on the newly completed town square in Accrington but, due to reasons beyond our control, hosting the event on that date is not now possible.”

At the fun day there was due to be LED bike rides, woodwork demonstrations, wildlife activities, archery and smoothie making.

The official opening of the square will take place with an event in November.

A Hyndburn council spokesman said: “Work will be completed and the square fully open for the official opening in November, as planned.”

In June remedial works on the square were carried out to clear the blocked drains after it flooded, prompting it to be labelled ‘Lake Accrington’.

Brendan Duffy, president of Hyndburn Chamber of Trade, said: “It is always difficult in the transition of projects like this but hopefully the town square is something we can all be proud of once it is finished.

“I am looking forward to the events coming up.

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“Any investment in Accrington is good, not many towns in the local area are receiving such investment.”

The Prospects Foundation and the council were due to meet on Thursday, August 2, to discuss when the event could be rescheduled.