Lottery cash prompts battle of the halls...

Opening day for the new playground at Portsmouth recreational ground, Burnley Road, Portsmouth, Todmorden'Pictured mayor of Todmorden Margareta Holmstedt plants a tree
Opening day for the new playground at Portsmouth recreational ground, Burnley Road, Portsmouth, Todmorden'Pictured mayor of Todmorden Margareta Holmstedt plants a tree
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EFFORTS to rejuvenate Halifax Piece Hall may have undermined the chances of attracting lottery money to restore Todmorden Town Hall.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has already put £250,000 into the £15 million Piece Hall project and this week rejected a £360,000 bid towards the multi-million pound town hall transformation scheme.

Former Mayor of Todmorden Margareta Holmstedt said: “The Piece Hall has made it very tricky for us.

“The Lottery is already backing one multi-million pound scheme in Halifaxwhich we fell might have counted against us in Todmorden.”

But the scheme to breath new life into the grade one listed town hall is certainly not going to be abandoned, she said.

The Town Hall Development Group has agreed to submit another application for funding which will enable detailed plans to be drawn up for the improvements and conversion work.

Councillor Jayne Booth (Lab, Todmorden) said it was very sad that the initial bid had been rejected.

“But we must continue to press ahead with this scheme because it is an import part of our attempts to rejuvenate the central area of the town.”

A key element is the work needed to repair ornate carvings on the front of the building which are crumbling.

To protect passers-by, scaffolding and netting have been in place for the past two years.

It is expected that £5 million will eventually be required to fully improve the town hall, install lifts, a bar, exhibition space, convert the caretaker’s flat into a room for civic ceremonies, create a basement cafe and to fully repair the stone work and other internal maintenance.

Calderdale Council allocated £400,000 to match the initial funding expected from the lottery fund.