The chairman of Wigan Youth Zone has stepped down from the role 10 years after bringing his vision to life.
After a decade at the helm of the youth support charity, Martin Ainscough has passed the torch to his second cousin Richard Ainscough.
Alongside Martin, eight other board members have departed, including other trustees Dave Whelan and Martin’s cousin Bill Ainscough.
Almost six years since the facility opened, the board has decided that now is the right time to recruit some “new blood” to the charity.
Martin said: “I’m 66 years old now, and semi-retired. Having been involved in the youth zone since it was first conceived I just think that the time is right to hand over to a slightly younger generation.
“I’m very very proud and delighted that it has been such a phenomenal success, more than we could have dreamed of to be honest.
“We have had the most tremendous support from Wigan Council, from the Wigan business community and the wider community and we have been blessed with a fantastic group of people.
“I think my main hope going into Richard’s stewardship, is that the youth zone will continue to thrive.”
The trustees invested the initial cash injection required to build the 37,000-square foot facility. They also became founder patrons and have continued to invest in the charity since its conception.
Martin, Dave and Bill have all been heavily involved in the steering of the organisation over the years, supporting fund-raising strategy and making key decisions as board members.
Richard, who has been connected to the charity through his dad Bill since its conception, said he is grateful to have been given the opportunity to continue the board’s work.
“The youth zone has had a phenomenal impact on Wigan,” he said. “There a lot of initiatives that just don’t have the momentum that this one does.
“My aim in the first instance is to continue the great work that the youth zone has been doing.
“There are opportunities now to grow the services for the young people of Wigan. We want to grow our reach and to evolve the delivery of activities and services so that we stay relevant.”