Examiner's vital role in villagers' bid for new community hub

Holywell Inn at Holywell Green saved from redevlopment but race is on to raise £105,000 needed to buy it

John Walsh (right) and objectors to plans for the Holy Well Inn, Stainland Road, Holywell Green.

The theme of Local Newspaper Week is Making A Difference – and the Examiner has certainly done that for one community organisation.

Residents in Holywell Green have formed an action group to save the former Holywell Inn pub which was due to be turned into flats and have had it listed as community asset by Calderdale Council.

Now they are trying to raise funds in order to buy the pub and secure it for community use – and the Examiner has helped them every step of the way as they forge ahead to raise £105,000 to buy the building.

Action group chairman John Walsh said: “The pub ran for 142 years before it was closed and has always been the social centre in the village. This is about making sure that we have got a facility in 100 years’ time for everyone. In the village 20% are pensioners and there’s lots of single parent households. There’s isolation here so we are trying to find something to help them.”

Fundraising has included a village bake-off, an antiques valuation day, a garden show and a concert by Californian folk singer Al Stewart.

And Mr Walsh is full of praise for the Examiner.

“For community groups such as ours the role of local newspapers could not be more important,” he said. “The Huddersfield Examiner has been a prime example of this.

“We started a campaign some 18 months ago to bring about community ownership of the only pub in our village. This facility has been closed by the owner who wants to develop it into six dwellings. We want to save it and then re-launch it as a pub – but also with the business providing a whole range of community services and facilities, exactly what our local council describe as a ‘Resourceful Community.’

Jukebox donation has Holywell Inn pub campaign in full song 

“But, of course, to do that we need to get our message out there. That’s exactly where newspapers like The Examiner have such an important part to play.

Local Newspaper Week logo 2014
 

“We have always been impressed that the articles written about us are both fair and direct. The editorial content has always been accurate and not one-sided in our favour, particularly when reporting on such issues as planning applications and the owner’s perspective on our campaign.

“Yet coverage of our community events – for example the village bake-off, the fantastic Al Stewart show and the antiques valuation day – have always been extremely supportive and have given readers a true sense of our aims.

“The Examiner has been tremendous in publicising these events, bringing people in from all over the area to support us – a task that would have cost us substantial funds without the paper’s help.

“Our campaign has been helped tremendously by these events and has led to several people joining in to assist us and some of those people may never have heard of us without the help of the Examiner. Local newspapers are the life-blood of a community – and long may that continue!

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