The long-awaited new automatic doors at the Clarke Foley Centre were officially opened on Saturday 23 January 2016 by Cllr Brian Mann, Chairman of Ilkley Parish Council. First through the new doors were Mrs Joan Wright and Director Brian Whittam who have both been involved with the Centre since it was established in 1981. They were followed by The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Joanne Dodds, and representatives of dozens of local community groups and individuals that regularly use the Centre.
The new automatic doors and associated building work cost over £40,000. This is a huge amount for the charity to raise through activities, events, grants and donations. The many donors, include the Round Table, the Parish Council, Ilkley Carnival and many individual donors. The new doors make it easier for people with disabilities, walking frames, pushchairs or carrying heavy bags to access the Centre
Speaking at the opening The Lord Mayor, Cllr Joanne Dodds, said, “The Clarke Foley Centre is a fantastic and vibrant community resource. The new automatic doors are a credit to everyone who has worked so hard to make this happen.”
As he cut the ribbon Cllr Brian Mann said, “I am proud to be part of a community which has worked together to improve access to the Clarke Foley Centre. The automatic doors are just one of the many recent improvements and I understand there are more to come.”
Clarke Foley Centre Chairman, Mr William Varley said, “The new doors vastly improve accessibility, making the Centre equally accessible to all members of the community. Access will also be easier for all of our 1,600 weekly visitors. Everyone will benefit whether they are coming to one of over 45 regular clubs and societies, enjoying a class or event, or coming to enjoy tea and home-cooked cakes in our café.
“Thank you to everyone who has helped to make the new automatic doors a reality. Whether through fundraising, practical help or supporting the work of the Centre, it all adds up to an improved community resource. We are always looking for ways to be outward looking and welcoming for all members of the community.”
Other recent improvements at the Clarke Foley Centre include a redecorated café, delicious home-cooked food, and a new café menu.
Our next major project is to bring the disabled access toilet up to modern specifications.