Liverpool news Abandoned drug church set for 'amazing' transformation PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - The church has been left empty for several years and became a crime scene when police found a cannabis farm
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! A dad is taking a “leap of faith” on an abandoned Merseyside church that was once found to have a cannabis farm growing inside. Police discovered that Manor Church Centre, on Seabank Road in Wallasey , was housing a large number of cannabis plants and growing equipment following a raid back in August 2019. A man was arrested in connection with the incident, with police voicing their “disgust” at the undertaking of illegal activity at a former place of worship. The church has been left empty since the raid, with the building having fallen into disrepair and becoming a target for vandalism, which left some of its stunning stained glass windows boarded up. But now Lenny Atherton, 38, from Wallasey, is hoping to transform the property into a family-run gym, equipped with state-of-the-art machines and highly-qualified personal trainers. READ MORE:Mum 'laughed at' by doctors after rushing for help in middle of night Lenny is the owner of Dream Body Health Fitness & Nutrition on Borough Road, in Seacombe, and is hoping to relocate to the Seabank Road property later this summer. He told the ECHO: “The roof of my current gym came off with the bad weather in November and so I’m having to relocate. There weren’t many options available in the local area that were big enough and suitable enough, so I took a bit of a leap of faith on this building. Since I took it on, I’ve been really made up with it and everyone is really excited. “In terms of renovations, there’s not an awful lot I’m allowed to do because obviously the main church area is made of massive sandstone bricks and has lots of stained glass windows. They’re listed features so I can’t touch them, but I wouldn’t want to anyway because they look amazing." The property is a Grade II listed building (Image: Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo) Manor Church Centre, built in 1908, operated as a Presbyterian church and has been designated as a Grade II listed building. The church was closed in 2011 as a result of dwindling congregation numbers and was sold for a sum of £200k to a private company, Blue Marlin Ltd, in August 2016.
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. He said: “I just need the building as a shell, so it’s just about giving it a clean and doing some repairs and paintwork. "Since I got the keys, I’ve been doing it up with some friends and my partner. We’re a family-run business so we’ve been trying to cut the cost where we can as well as making sure that everything gets done."
The church was sold to a private company in 2016
(Image: Lenny Atherton)
The dad-of-two, who used to be in the military, is hoping to offer a varied class timetable that caters for all ages, as well as an over 60s class and kids' fitness classes. Lenny is committed to giving back to the local community, having orchestrated a number of fundraisers for families in need, and he's delighted with the response he's received about his new venture. He said: “All the neighbours have been brilliant and they all seem excited. It’s been left empty for a couple of years which is a shame. But the owner is helping me to rectify a lot of the problems now. The leading was stolen from the back of the roof, and kids were breaking in and smashing windows which had to be boarded up.” The property is set to undergo some electrical work next week, and Lenny hopes that the gym will be up and running by August. You can keep up to date with the gym's progress here. Receive our three MyWirral newsletters and breaking news email alerts by signing up here.
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