In a short space of time a rundown building has been transformed into the hub of the community.
And today the team at the Carlile Institute celebrated the latest phase in the regeneration of the Meltham building with the official opening of the Carlile’s Business Centre.
Bob Cryan, Huddersfield University’s vice-chancellor, officially opened it with Clr Paul White, the new Mayor of Meltham.
The Carlile is home not only to the Post Office but three other firms – and the presence of all means the Huddersfield Road building can continue to be used as a community space.
Prof Cryan said he was delighted at how the project had come to fruition.
“The University of Huddersfield and the Carlile Institute actually have quite similar origins,” he said. “They are both rooted in the Mechanics’ Institute movement of the Victorian period. If things had worked out differently we might be talking about the University of Meltham.
“As it is, the rebirth of the Carlile Institute is great example of community initiative and determination – just the kind of regeneration project we like to encourage at the university where we lay a lot of emphasis on entrepreneurship and social enterprise.
“We see this very plainly in the case of the Carlile Institute which is an uplifting example of communal action and regeneration.”
The office space was fully let to local businesses within 10 days and the building operates to a 36/64% split in favour of community use.
Three businesses are now based in the Carlile Institute Business Centre. They are Greenroute Energy, run by Simon Sharp, which has launched a new consumer brand called Funky Heat; Logistical Support, which has its head office in Leicester but opened their northern logistics support office at the Carlile managed by Suzanne Proctor; and Pierrepont Accountants, ran by Jonathan Hill. He moved from Shepley to take two of the office suites – one a meeting room for clients and another as an office.
The community led on the asset transfer of the Carlile from Kirklees Council and since 2014 £180,000 has been spent on restoring the building. It is home to Meltham Town Council, community groups and rooms available for hire. It will soon include a library service.