Luddendent Foot Institute gets a new lease of life

A COMMUNITY group has been given the gahead to take over Luddenden Foot Civic Institute.

But it has still to produce a business plan to show how this can be done in a way which will make the building economically sustainable in the long term.

A management agreement must be in place by September, Calderdale Council Cabinet agreed.

The building, which dates from 1914, costs the council £5,600 a year to run and maintain but it is in poor condition.

It contains 39 rooms over three floors and architects estimate that it will cost £338,000 to fully restore.

If it was sold, it might raise £60,000 for the council.

The building in Station Road is to be leased to the Luddenden Foot Community Association at no cost for the next 25 years.

The hope is to expand the use of the institute to help raise money to fully restore it.

Proposals for transferring the building into community ownership have been under discussion for several years.

Last summer, the cabinet considered two bids but one group later withdrew leaving the association to submit a revised bid to take over the ownership and management of the building.

Councillor Pauline Nash (Lib Dem, Skircoat) who has cabinet responsibility for community services, said the community association had ambitious plans for using the institute and a robust plan was needed to maintain it.

Without that, there would be a risk of incurring significant costs.

A spokeswoman for the community association said members would prove they were capable of managing the centre.

“A 25-year lease will give us the opportunity to put our plans into action and bring pride back to the community,” she said.

l The association will hold a meeting for residents and interested parties at the institute on Saturday, February 25, at 11am.