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Why a Lockwood mill is set to become a cultural hub

Well-known entertainment company looking for new base after town centre became too expensive

Albert Mills on Albert Street, Lockwood

One of Huddersfield’s leading theatrical companies is on the move.

The Huddersfield Light Opera Company has to leave its Dundas Street base after the landlord’s bid to redevelop the building.

The company, founded in 1912, had to rule out new premises in the town centre for cost reasons.

They have now applied for planning permission to use part of Albert Mills on Albert Street, Lockwood , as a new base.

In a supporting statement the HLOC, which is over 100 years old, says: “After looking at suitably sized and located town centre properties, it quickly became apparent that we – a registered charity – would not be able to afford anything close to the asking prices for town centre properties.

“We looked at Albert Mills, a heritage building. We plan to use the premises during the evenings and on Sundays when the mill, which shares the site, will not be in operation therefore the 50 or so parking spaces will be available.

“The second floor at Albert Mills has been empty and unused for a number of years; the first floor... is home to tenants who successfully applied for change of use and now houses other leisure pursuits including a dance school and a martial arts centre.”

HLOC want to rent space on the second floor of the mill. The company, which stages two shows a year at the Lawrence Batley Theatre , has members aged seven to 85. It is aimed at promoting the arts including singing, dancing and acting.

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