FIVE community halls or centres – which were threatened with closure as part of cost-cutting measures – could be saved thanks to volunteer efforts.
Question marks over the future of Brierfield Town Hall, Brierfield Community Centre and Trawden Community Centre emerged as Pendle Council looked to secure a £1 million ‘efficiency support grant’ from the government.
Barnoldswick Civic Hall and Primet Hill Community Centre in Colne were expected to be handed over to volunteers, under the same moves, and these arrangements have now been confirmed.
But the leaders of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat-controlled authority were originally accused of ‘abandoning’ Brierfield, as the two popular venues in the town were earmarked for closure.
Town councillors in Brierfield have now offered to take on the town hall and community centre after staging a public meeting.
Coun Mohammed Iqbal, the borough’s Labour group leader and county councillor for Nelson North and Brierfield, said: “I applaud the town council and the people of Brierfield for taking this bold step to secure a popular facility in the heart of the community. ”
The final decision will rest with the joint executive though when it meets at Nelson Town Hall next Thursday, to consider a report drafted by deputy chief executive Philip Mousdale.
For Brierfield Community Centre, the recommendation is to transfer it to the town council – but the executive board is being given a choice over whether it make the same decision for the town hall – or opt to declare it surplus to requirements and sells it off on the open market.
Villagers have formed a charitable interest organisation – Trawden Forest Community Centre – in a bid to take over their local venue.