ACTORS have been told that the show must go on – as Pendle Council looks to dispose of its community halls and centres.
Supporters of Barnoldswick’s Gilbert and Sullivan Society were keen to ensure that their next production in May was not jeopardised as the fate of the town’s civic hall was discussed.
The future of the Station Road venue, along with Brierfield Community Centre, Brierfield Town Hall, Nelson’s Walton Lane Community Centre and Trawden Community Centre has been under review.
It has emerged that the centres’ management was one alternative endorsed as part of the authority receiving an ‘efficiency support grant’ of £1million from Whitehall for the current financial year.
Town councillors in Barnoldswick are in discussions on taking over the management of the civic hall but no agreement has been reached.
Coun David Whipp said that the society had used the venue for at least 36 years and members were concerned, as rehearsals were already under way for their summer show. He added: “The Gilbert and Sullivan Society are wanting some certainty about whether they can go ahead with it, given considerations over the future management of the building.”
Council leader Coun Joe Cooney confirmed that the community halls review was an option being considered as part of the terms of the efficiency grant.
He said that initial approaches were being made to the borough’s town and parish councils to explore whether they were interested in taking over the running of the halls. But Coun Cooney said he did not believe that negotiations over the civic hall would be anywhere near completion by May.
“We are committed to saving a certain amount of money on community halls and each one should be considered on its merits,” he added.
He later pledged that the civic hall would not close after he was lobbied by Conservatives in West Craven.