Barnoldswick Town Council has voted unanimously to take control of a much loved public building which could otherwise have faced closure.
Councillors voted to keep Barnoldswick Civic Hall in Station Road under public ownership after Pendle Council decided earlier in the year it could no longer finance the building.
The building had faced an uncertain future until the decision at Barnoldswick Town Council’s annual meeting this month.
The council heard that the Civic Hall currently has eight regular user groups with the potential interest in others wishing to use the building on a more permanent basis.
Approximate annual costs for the building totalled £18,000 with potential income of just over £22,000, but Clerk to the Town Council Joanne Geldard stressed that this did not take into account any additional staffing costs or new room bookings.
Coun. Ken Hartley reported to councillors that one of the Civic Hall’s primary users, The Gilbert and Sullivan Society, “would love” to continue at the Station Road venue on agreeing that the organisation had a medium term future while Coun. Jennifer Purcell described the hall as “an asset to the town”.
Coun. David Whipp said the building had been a great part of Barlick life for decades and although it may need redecorating in parts, its structure and wiring was sound.
He said: “We know the building is in reasonable repair. There isn’t anything we can spot as a major cost in the reasonably foreseeable future.
“It’s no secret that I am firmly in the belief that where we have got public assets we should keep them, we should look after them and that we should use them.
“I don’t think it’s going to make massive profits, but it might break even. It’s used by residents and visitors who come to the town and I feel very strongly that we want to keep the building.”
Coun. David Stead expressed pride in taking control of the building, saying: “It will be a champion town and I think there’s an excellent future for this town council. We can make sure it is run by the right people.”
Barnoldswick Town Council’s General Purposes Committee will now look at how the building will be managed.