A QUESTION mark hangs over the future of Luddenden Foot Civic Institute as councillors prepare to vote on an asset transfer.
Two voluntary groups – Luddendenfoot Community Association and Luddendenfoot Community Youth and Sports Centre – have applied to take over the Station Road building.
But a report to Calderdale Council cabinet recommends refusing both bids and selling it instead.
It states: “There are significant weaknesses in both the bids, particularly around finance and risk. These risks are such that neither bid is strong enough for a straightforward recommendation to transfer.”
Luddenden Foot Community Association has used the building for over five years and has improved the rundown premises, including a Courier-backed campaign to refurbish the hall used by the Luddenden Valley playgroup.
But the building still needs £338,000 worth of repairs and costs £2,690 a year to run.
The council wants to get rid of it under plans to save £40,000 in public hall costs. It is expected to fetch up to £180,000 on the open market.
But selling the building could leave its current users without a home, including the playgroup, United Reformed Church, Women’s Institute, Boys Brigade and youth groups.
The report identifies Luddenden Youth Centre in Kershaw Drive as a possible alternative, but the groups claim it is unsuitable.
Jill Smith-Moorhouse, chairwoman of Luddendenfoot Community Association, said: “The centre would be a great loss to our area. There is nowhere else suitable for users to meet.”
Her group’s £1.25 million plans involve redeveloping and extending it into a modern community centre with a bar to cater for parties and other events.
A rival bid by Luddendenfoot Community Youth and Sports Centre, a new group, envisions it as a social and sporting hub with new changing rooms and sports storage facilities.
Councillors will vote on the transfer at Monday’s cabinet meeting.