A LIFT to help disabled people have full access to Hoylake Parade Community Centre was today officially opened by the mayor of Wirral after more than four years of fundraising.

Mayor Pat Hackett cut the ribbon and took a trip in the lift during an opening ceremony this afternoon.

The £130,000 target had been raised through a host of events including food fairs, beer festivals and Halloween-themed nights.

There were also donations from charities and members of the public.

It now means the upper floor of the centre, which was built as a school in 1909, can be used by people of all abilities.

Wirral Globe: Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Pat Hackett in the lift during this afternoon's unveiling

Vaughan Williams, chairman of Trustees, said: “This is an exciting day for us.

“The idea for the lift goes back about 15 years, when we realised that we had this lovely building, but not everyone could use the facilities.

“Now we have this lift and disabled access toilet.”

Praising the many groups that have helped turn the plans for a lift into really, Mr Williams continued: “Thanks to Carla Williams, whose job has been to raise funds for the project.

“Thanks to Roger who has worked with Carla on the fundraising and to Taylor Made for constructing the lift.

“Thanks to everybody who has supported the events and all our generous sponsors.

“We have a footfall of about 150,000 people, which justifies the installation of the lift.”

Before cutting the ribbon, mayor Pat Hackett said: “It’s an honour to have been asked perform this ceremony.

Wirral Globe:

Treasurer Roger Bates, Mayor of Wirral Cllr Pat Hackett and chair of the Board of Trustees Vaughan Williams during this afternoon's lift-opening ceremony

“My affiliation with community centres is renowned, having run one in New Brighton for many years.

“I know how hard it is to raise money to keep these centres open. I am sure the lift will make a great big difference.

“This fine building really stands out and is great for the different groups using the centre.”

Fundraising manager Carla Williams told the Globe: “It’s nice to have the lift installed and I want to say a big thank you to the charities, local community groups and people using the centre.

“Because that footfall proves there is a demand for what we have provided.

“It’s taken us a long time to get that lift, but it’s great to have it.”