AN historic landmark has been given a new lease of life.
The Temperance Hall in Brooke Street, Cleckheaton, has been partly unoccupied for more than four years.
During a chequered history, the building has been a snooker hall, a social centre and more recently used as commercial premises.
On Yorkshire Day – August 1 – it will become home to expanding company Howarths Employment Law, which has taken over the entire building and completed an extensive refurbishment and internal modernisation.
The company provides human resources and employment law advice to businesses of all sizes throughout the UK, but in particular to the Huddersfield and Kirklees area.
Howarths is led by husband and wife Andy and Helen Howarth, who set up the business from their home in Cleckheaton in 2003.
It now employs 12 staff, including the couple’s eldest son Gavin, who qualified as a solicitor with an international law firm, but saw the benefits of joining the family business.
Howarths’ need to expand drew the firm to the premises in Brooke Street, which provides room for further growth as well as easy access to the M62 motorway. It also means the company can stay loyal to its roots – despite having a national client base.
Managing director Andy Howarth said: “I was born and bred in Leeds, but worked for many years in Huddersfield and Cleckheaton in my former life as a police officer and I am very proud of our connections to many businesses in Huddersfield and Kirklees.
“I have always maintained that staying local is not only vital to the economy, but gives our own business a sense of belonging to a thriving Kirklees business community.”
Despite research on the internet, the firm has been unable to unearth much of the history of the building – and is asking for help from local people.
Said Mr Howarth: “We would really like to know a bit more about the building and its past. I am told by my brother-in-law, who was born and raised on Brooke Street, that it once was a place for social gatherings. He recalls having his eighth birthday party there.”