A much-loved church hall has taken a step closer to re-opening.
Campaigners against the closure of St Chad’s hall have set up a Community Trust to take charge of bringing the Poulton venue back into use.
The group of concerned residents exhausted all options in an attempt to save the Vicarage Road venue before it was closed in October when £100,000 could not be raised to make urgent repairs.
Following months of discussions, the Parochial Church Council have agreed to apply to the Charity Commissioners for a scheme which would formally transfer the hall into a Community Trust.
Helen Kay, chairman of a steering group tasked with saving the hall, said: “We would love to simply re-open the hall but there are many legal, insurance and procedural hurdles to negotiate before this can be done and we have had ongoing and positive meetings with the church authorities in order to achieve this.
Ultimately, the group wish to restore, remodel and upgrade the current building.
Applications will be made for grant funding and there is a great deal of interest to support fund raising.
Mrs Kay added: “It must be preserved for community use and for future generations.
“It is the only one in the area with full theatrical stage, wonderful floor and roof structure and the capacity for full scale stage presentations.”
John Bailie, a member of the Community Trust, added: “It’s an important move.
“The hall goes into the hands of the community instead of the church.”
Anyone interested in helping should call 07940 995690.