A PARISH hall is to rise from the ashes, just a year after being destroyed by fire.
Birchencliffe’s parish hall on Briarlyn Road was destroyed by arsonists last March, leaving community groups without a meeting place.
But now contractors J Radcliffe, of Huddersfield, are to build a new and improved hall, which will be known as St Philip’s Community Centre.
Work will start on Monday and will last about six months.
The result will be a £600,000 centre, around the same size as the original which was built in 1970.
There will be a stage and hall area for 200 people, with meeting rooms and better access to a kitchen area and toilets.
The insurance will pay for the building to be finished, but supporters are raising cash to replace some of the contents lost in the fire, such as stage equipment and crockery.
Hall manager Ken Shaw said the community was looking forward to a fresh start.
He added: “I am hoping it will be well used, like its predecessor. People will come back to us again and they are eagerly awaiting completion.”
Mr Shaw said the rebuilding had been a chance to improve facilities.
“We are rising from the ashes, with a new and improved set-up,” he added.
It is hoped the new centre will again provide a home for community groups, including Lindley Out of School Club, Rainbow Brownies and the 31st Huddersfield Scouts.
St Philip’s Amateur Dramatic Society also met there and this year could not perform their annual pantomime, for the first time in 25 years.
But the members are hoping they will get to perform Mother Goose in the new hall next February.
The old hall also held classes in tae kwon do and line dancing, along with functions for St Philip’s Church members.
The new hall will also incorporate space for a private playgroup.