An education centre where thousands have had lessons is now being mothballed.
And a behind-the-scenes row is still simmering over Holmfirth Adult Education Centre (HAEC).
The committee behind HAEC has blamed its former partner Kirklees College.
Holme Valley Education, Arts and Rural Trust (HEART) says the centre has been ‘mothballed’ following a three-year ‘struggle’ with Kirklees College.
The volunteer-run committee said its negotiations with Kirklees College had left it ‘despondent, exhausted and deeply concerned’.
A local business had planned to set up a store in the building where local artists could sell their wares.
But the company withdrew because Kirklees College had wanted ‘non-viable terms and conditions’, it has been alleged.
Kirklees College, however, has said it is committed to keeping the centre open and is working with Holmfirth High School to secure the centre’s future.
In May 2011, more than 2,500 people signed a petition protesting against Kirklees College’s plans to close the centre.
After a series of passionate public meetings Kirklees College reversed its decision and temporarily reinstated classes in the building.
But this summer the college began emptying the building.
A HEART spokesperson said: “In the last three years there have been successes. but there have also been numerous frustrations and failures.
"Throughout this period HEART has sought to work with Kirklees College and at first was encouraged to think that the building could have more varied use and operate on a more commercial footing.
“Although meetings have been held with the college, HEART feels that there has been a lack of realism and openness and, as a result, has experienced increasing levels of frustration. The centre has been registered as a community asset, but HEART believes that it has come to the end of the road in trying to persuade Kirklees College to make a real, sustained commitment to finding it a realistic and realisable future.
“HEART remains committed to securing the future of the building but three years of struggle with the college has left its members despondent, exhausted and deeply concerned.”
But Kirklees College principal Peter McCann blamed HEART for withdrawing at the ‘11th hour’.
Mr McCann said: “The college has met numerous times with HEART to discuss options for HAEC. Only one proposal has been forthcoming from HEART. At the 11th hour the organisation pulled out of the agreement for two reasons; they were concerned that potential objections from individuals or organisations due to the covenant might restrict their options in the longer term and the building was a little smaller than they would have liked to accommodate the number of retail outlets they envisaged.
“Despite this setback, we are still in discussion with Holmfirth High School, because, like us, the school is keen to ensure good community and educational use of the building, but HEART did not attend the latest of these meetings.
“The college remains committed to working with any organisation with a proactive, rational proposal for community and educational use of the building which meets the terms of the covenant.”