A community hub is to undergo a massive makeover.
Meltham’s Carlile Institute has been awarded £238,000 from charitable trust Power to Change to carry out extensive changes and refurbishment work.
Plans for new meeting rooms, a disabled lift, public toilets, a kitchen, an office for Meltham Town Council and a mezzanine floor are already with Kirklees Council planners.
The grant will also enable the town’s library to move into the ground floor of the two-storey building on February 18 from its current home across the road in Meltham Town Hall. The building already houses Meltham Post Office.
The funding was delivered as part of a Big Lottery Fund scheme for community businesses and has left Richard Noon, a member of the Meltham Carlile Community Interest Company, “over the moon.”
He said: “When we started out in 2013 we discussed what we wanted to do and that was to provide a space for the public.
“We’ve had to create a sustainable business to enable this work to happen.
“It has always been the business plan that this refurbishment would provide local residents with high quality space to use for meetings, parties, dance lessons and everything else in between.
“One of the major drivers behind us getting the grant has been our plans to move the library here.
“That will be open during the post office’s opening hours from 8.30am to 5.30pm on Mondays and Tuesdays, 9am to 6pm Wednesdays to Fridays and from 9am to 2pm on Saturdays.”
The Mechanics Institute at the rear of the building will be included in the refurbishment and the public ground floor toilets will be the first to open in the town since the former toilet block on Clarke Lane was closed.
Work will be carried out on the hall and jubilee room on the first floor, while Richard explained more about the other refurbishments.
“The building is very tired and the rooms haven’t been renovated for decades.
“Work will address repairs as well as creating facilities like a top notch multi-purpose community space or meeting area on the ground floor.
“Meltham Town Council will eventually move in, along with a local history section and we want to create a mezzanine floor for the library’s IT facilities.”
Richard said CIC members are also now in the process of turning the organisation into a charity.
“Working as a CIC has enabled us to move quickly.
“Getting this grant has allowed us to begin the process of converting the CIC into a charity.
“This will allow members of the Carlile support group to have more say in its running and they will help more people get involved with the institute and host community groups and events there.”