In 1989 a decision was taken by the then Chief Executive Roy Evans and the Board to celebrate the organisation’s centenary year by launching a bold appeal to raise funds for a new inner city, multipurpose access centre. The Starting Point appeal was launched and by the Millennium the vision had become a reality.
Initially the new centre was to be sited on the land around the Vernon Sangster Sports Centre (once owned by MYA). The estimated cost for the building of this centre was then put at £1.7 to £2 million.
Emphasis was placed upon the multi-purpose aspect of such a centre and numerous consultations/surveys were undertaken with Young people, youth clubs, service providers and Partner agencies about the relevance of this kind of facility. Following a vast amount of research it was agreed that the centre be located in the city providing easy access for all young people across Merseyside.
A number of City Centre locations were considered but it was the Abney Building in Hanover Street which showed the most potential to site such a centre. Funding applications were prepared and submitted to both English Partnerships and the National Lottery Charities Board for assistance with the considerable refurbishment required in order to make the building both weatherproof as well as habitable to allow the move to take place. The breakthrough came when both applications were successful which allowed MYA to push forward in realising its’ dream.
It was then full steam ahead and the fund raising Appeal was rolled out nationally headed up by Colonel John Blashford-Snell, MYA’s Chair Phillip Matthews and Chief Executive Roy Evans. A meeting was held at the Grosvenor Estate Offices in London were the ’cause’ was submitted and considered by key representatives from the Home Office, government departments and businesses within London. The proposal was fully endorsed and a Fund Raising committee was formed in London as well as Liverpool which kept the Appeal momentum alive both locally and nationally.
Numerous funds were received through trusts as well as the private and business sectors and many individuals and long term supporters of MYA. Our ‘Buy a Brick’ initiative was really successful and those individuals who purchased bricks are identified by individual plaques which are displayed within the reception area of the Door centre.