Today Age Concern say goodbye to the Old Customs House in Whitehaven.
The charity began operating out of the building back in 1978, when they rented the ground floor from Copeland Borough Council. Age Concern used this space to deliver their popular luncheon club and art classes. By 1985 they were delivering art classes to over 2890 older people and providing around 5400 lunches annually.
As the organisation developed and grew, so did their relationship with the building and in 1988 Age Concern Copeland (as they were formerly known) raised enough money to purchase Old Customs House from the council, giving full use of all three floors.
It was then that Old Customs House became the Head Office of Age Concern and was central to their work across Copeland and Allerdale. Over the years the building has housed an extensive range of services, providing a home-from-home for our staff, volunteers and service users.
A spokesperson said:
"In 2019, after forty-one years of use, we made the difficult decision to say goodbye to Old Customs House. The age of the building meant the property was no longer fit for purpose, and we felt it was time to move forward as an organisation. The Grade II listed building has been purchased by a local business owner who plans to develop the property.
"From Monday 3rd of February 2020, our Whitehaven team will be based in the Senhouse Centre at 3 Senhouse Street, Whitehaven (CA28 7ES). This will provide a temporary home of our Equipment Service, Information & Advice Service, Footcare Service and weekly Coffee Morning. Our bi-weekly art class will now be held at The Beacon, providing a more creative space for our members. Our Head Offices are now located in The Bradbury Independent Living Centre in Workington.
"Looking to the future - we are in discussions with both Copeland Borough Council and BEC regarding a permanent Community Hub presence in Whitehaven and have plans for a new retail unit in the town.
"In order to commemorate our time at Old Customs House we’re encouraging members of the public to share their photographs and memories of the building."
If you would like to share your stories or photographs, please contact Age Concern on: 01900 844670 or firstname.lastname@example.org