After months of negotiation, Colne Town Council has now officially taken over the landmark Grade II listed Colne Town Hall.
Averting the potential for the building being mothballed, the acquisition comes after the movement of the Pendle Leisure Trust's head office from Colne to Nelson as part of Pendle Borough Council savings initiatives.
In addition to the Town Hall, to help with future viability, the council have also negotiated the transfer of the Annex (the former liberal club on Newmarket Street) and five shop properties underneath the Annex and Town Hall.
"Taking on this prominent building brings with it not only a substantial financial challenge, but also a responsibility in how we deal with its heritage," said Councillor Paul Foxley, Chairman of Colne Town Council.
“We understand just how important the Town Hall is to the people of Colne. This was recently evidenced when over 150 people took the opportunity to tour the building when we opened it up for guided tours on the 10th September as part of our Heritage Open day."
The Town Council are currently mid-term through a project funded by the Resilient Heritage Lottery Fund, under which the current condition of the building has been looked at in detail, a Conservation Management Plan has been prepared, and an Options Appraisal is currently underway.
"Engagement with the Resilient Heritage Lottery Fund was always a key part of our plan and we hope to attract their further support to take this long-term project forward," Paul added. "We want the people of Colne to enjoy their wonderful Town Hall and to see it improve and become better used."
Once the appraisal is completed, this will enable the Town Hall and its future use to be managed in light of its historical importance. Future use options are currently being appraised, with a report to be presented to on Tuesday, November 14th.
Anybody wishing to enquire about using the Town Hall for meetings or renting rooms on a more formal basis should in the first instance contact Naomi Crewe on 01282 861 888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org