A church hall shut down because of funding problems, is close to being re-opened, campaigners today said.
More than 20 members of the Poulton community have set up a committee to get St Chad’s Church Hall reopened after it was shut in November because of a lack of funding.
It was relied on by a raft of organisations, including amateur dramatics group the Chaddeans, which have all had to find a new home after being told of the closure.
However, those in charge of the committee believe they only have to clear a few obstacles before being able to raise the funds they need to get the hall up and running again.
John Bailie, who sits on the steering group, said: “It is a complex and extremely time-consuming process, but progress is being made.
“We are hoping that the terms of a lease can be agreed in the near future, thereby transferring the hall from church to the community.
“This historic building will then be upgraded to incorporate state-of-the-art materials and the latest energy efficient technology.
“The aim is to preserve and restore the existing building, and then enhance and expand it to meet the needs of modern times and to provide the community with a useful facility at the heart of the town.
“Eventually, St Chad’s Church Hall will have a new name, grant aid will be applied for and the community will be asked to become involved in fund-raising activities.”
The Chaddeans amateur dramatics group was forced to move to an alternative home at Staining Village Hall, but bosses are hopeful of eventually moving back to St Chad’s church hall.
Chairman Wendy Barnes said: “Since the closure of the hall in November we have temporarily located to Staining and have done our shows there, along with various events.
“We are waiting to pounce, because the potential negotiations of handing the church hall over to the trust are not completed, and until such a time when they are, we can’t start raising funds.
“We’ve been made to feel very welcome in Staining, but it’s certainly not a long term solution to the problem.
“We are a Poulton group and committed to returning to our home of 40 years at St Chad’s Church Hall.
“Our main aim is to keep the group together while our hall is out of action, but we are desperate to get back in, and we are giving 110 per cent to raise the funds.”