THE Salvation Army headquarters in Huddersfield have been sold to the town's Sikh community.

The sale of the buildings in Prospect Street, Springwood, ends the organisation's 121-year association with the centre of the town.

This Sunday - Easter Sunday - will see regulars meet for their final service at 2pm.

Ambitious plans for a £500,000 community hall and worship hall are being discussed.

The location is believed to be in the Marsh/Oakes area, but details have yet to be finalised.

"It is a very exciting time for the Army," said Capt Ernie Huby, who has been commanding officer in Huddersfield with his wife, June, for eight years.

"This will be a fresh start for us. We have been tucked away where no-one knows where we are for a long time. We have been in the wrong place.

"We are taking the decision to move out of the town centre and into the community, which is being mirrored by the Army nationally."

Mr Huby said the safety of worshippers had been an issue since the ring road had been built, with often elderly people having to use the subway to attend meetings.

Also, the Prospect Street building was not on a bus route.

The community in which it was situated had also changed to a predominantly Asian population.

The Sikh community has paid an undisclosed "substantial sum" for the Prospect Street premises.

Mr Huby said it would be used for weddings, functions and educational purposes, as an additional centre to the nearby Sikh Temple.

From Sunday, April 18, the Salvation Army will meet at Huddersfield's Methodist Mission for its Sunday lunch at 12.20pm, followed by the service at 2pm.

It will continue to meet there until plans for the new centre are finalised. The Army aims to keep an office at the Mission when it moves out of the town centre.

* The Salvation Army was founded in the East End of London in 1865 by Methodist minister William Bramwell Booth

* It is now an international movement based on Christian beliefs. It operates in more than 100 countries

* Leadership is by commissioned officers, all of whom are recognised ministers of religion

* Salvationists lead simple lifestyles and abstain from drugs, alcohol, tobacco and gambling

* In Huddersfield the movement started in the Shore Head area around 1883

* Worship was held at several places in the town, including the former South Street (now the Springwood car park) for many years

* In the early 1970s the Huddersfield and Lockwood branches merged, with the new centre being built at Prospect Street in 1974/75

* The centre was officially opened on January 25, 1975

* Additional buildings were added in the early 1980s and a third section in 1991

* The Salvation Army in Huddersfield has between 30 and 40 regular worshippers.