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Sorrow as centre closes for good

VILLAGERS have reluctantly accepted defeat in their battle to save a community centre.

The Stainland Mechanics Institute has been used for social activities since 1883.

But the council owned building, now known as Stainland Community Centre, needs huge sums spending on repairs.

Calderdale Council encouraged users to produce a business plan to help attract grant aid but they have been unsuccessful.

Tomorrow, the last event takes place with the craft group's lantern walk and carol sing at 4pm followed by pie and peas.

Centre chairwoman Wendy Tooby, said committees were formed to sort out a lease, draw up a business plan and explore funding avenues but the project didn't reach fruition.

"We have run out of money, and Calderdale Council has said we have run out of time," she said.

"It is a shame. We have as many people using the building now as we ever had."

Only this week inquiries were made for starting a boxing club which would have joined craft groups, table tennis, karate, bingo nights, ballroom dancing and one-off hire events.

The craft group will hopefully relocate to Stainland Library and the keep fit class to Holywell Green United Reformed Church.

"For 126 years that building has been used and now it has gone," said Mrs Tooby.

"We don't want to use it in the condition it is in and you can't blame people for not wanting to use it."

Building repairs are needed inside and out and windows are boarded up. The Stainland Community Associa-tion will continue to meet and be based in the village at St Andrew's Church.

A council spokesman said the association leased the property and had been trying to secure its future with the council's support.

"Unfortunately, it has not been able to put a business plan together. Quite significant sums need to be spent to bring the building up-to-date.

"Trustees have signed the building back to the council and it has been declared surplus to requirements."

The community centre originally offered villages the opportunity to pay for a bath.

The upper hall was used for lectures and downstairs rooms for reading and billiards.

By the 1930s the upper hall became popular as a dance venue.

 
 
 

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