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Public meeting called to save 'threatened' Slaithwaite Civic Hall

A group wants to take it from Kirklees Council to bring it under community control

Slaithwaite Civic Hall, New Street, Slaithwaite.

A public meeting has been called to decide the future of a celebrated civic hall.

Slaithwaite Civic Hall faces closure unless the local community can create an asset transfer bid to take control of it from Kirklees Council.

A public meeting will be held at the hall on Wednesday, September 28 at 6.30pm.

Chris Woodhead, chairman and secretary of Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra, is one of a team which has been working on the potential bid for several months.

The orchestra has used the hall, formerly known as the Liberal Hall, for rehearsals since the group was founded 125 years ago.

Slaithwaite Civic Hall has been a place where people have celebrated, learned, danced, made music and more – recently – got fit,” said Chris.

“An appeal will be made at a consultation meeting next week to invite local people to get involved in the future running of the hall.

“In common with many public buildings run by Kirklees Council, Slaithwaite Civic Hall faces closure,” said Chris.

“There is an opportunity for an asset transfer of the building to a community led group.

“It is a really good space and is now terribly under used. It would be a travesty for the local community if the hall were to close.”

Chris Woodhead of Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra who are hoping to take over Slaithwaite Civic Hall.

Chris outlined his plan to get more groups to use the hall.

“My vision is to get it back to full regular use,” he said.

“The main hall has a stage and sprung dance floor, and used to host concerts and many events. There are several other good sized rooms.

“In the medium term it will need money spending to make improvements, and cash is something we don’t have a lot of at this moment, however nothing is impossible.

“The immediate priority is to bring together a group of like-minded people and put a plan together to keep the building going.”

Colne Valley Labour councillor Rob Walker has backed the asset transfer and spoke about the benefits redevelopment of the hall could bring.

He said: “We have a resourceful community with some great ideas for developing usage of the hall.

“There are exciting opportunities for groups in the village to work together so that the different facilities can complement each other. Slathwaite is a thriving village that can have an even brighter future.”

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