Performers are planning a new role for Youth House

Youth House
Youth House

A PERFORMING arts centre could be set up in Hebden Bridge.

The town’s Light Opera Society wants to take over and convert Youth House which has been empty for more than a decade.

Calderdale Council Cabinet will consider giving the organisation a 40-year-lease for the building when it meets on Monday.

The society has been active in Hebden Bridge for the best part of a century.

In 2010, councillors agreed to transfer the former youth club premises in Carlton Street to Pennine Heritage in order to create a heritage centre but the scheme fell through.

The latest idea is make rehearsal space and meetings rooms for use by the society, Hebden Bridge Brass Band, Hebden Bridge TV Company and the Glusburn Theatre School for young people and vulnerable adults.

The vision is for it to become a high spec rehearsal space and performing arts centre.

Council leader Janet Battye, said: “When Pennine Heritage withdrew from the asset transfer, I wanted to make sure that there was a community use for this building if at all possible. It’s a substantial building in a central location, linked to the library.

“I am delighted that after much hard work, it looks as though we’re nearly there in securing this building for long-term community use,” she said.

The light opera society will have to produce a full business plan, showing how the building could be restored and managed with the help of grants from various sources.

It needs to fully consult the community and put in place governance arrangements.

Acccording to the council, the building is in poor condition and will require a lift to make it fully accessible.

The roof was replaced as part of the improvements to the adjoining library and the full cost of restoration is likely to be in the region of £200,000.

In 2009, the building was estimated to be worth as much as £235,000 if it was sold on the open market but that has now been revised to about £80,000.

According to the society, work is well underway on a funding plan and applications will be made for grants to help with the cost of converting and running the building.