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£500,000 appeal for new Cullingworth village hall
12:00pm Monday 28th May 2012 in Aire Valley
A campaign has been launched to raise half a million pounds to replace a worn-out village hall, which was moved plank-by-plank from Keighley town centre nearly three decades ago.
The wooden building, which was formerly Keighley Salvation Army’s headquarters, was moved to Station Road, Cullingworth, as its village hall in 1973 – and was branded a “white elephant” at the time.
But since then the building has been used as a base for scores of community groups and was extended as its popularity grew. However, it is now nearing the end of its life.
Cullingworth Village Hall management committee is in discussion with Bradford Council over plans to build a new village hall and is calling on the public to help raise the £500,000 needed for the project.
Bryan Hobson, chairman of the committee, said: “It used to be Keighley’s Salvation Army citadel, which became redundant in the 70s, so it was moved lock, stock and barrel and was bolted together on its current site in Cullingworth, opposite the church. But the roof looks a little bit like a saddle – it is bowed – and wooden structures do not live forever.”
His predecessor, Ken Batchelor, 89, said: “When it was first put up, everybody said it would be a white elephant – that is why we use the white elephant on our letterheads. But it has been very popular.”
Committee members met representatives of Bradford Council to discuss plans to build a new hall on Council-owned land on the site of the old Cullingworth Primary School.
Mr Batchelor said: “If we can re-build on the spare old school land, near the medical centre, it would enable us to put up a first-class new building, while keeping the existing building open. We can’t afford to shut it down or we will lose all our existing customers.”
The appeal has been backed by Bingley Rural Conservative Councillor Simon Cooke. He said: “The building has served the village rather well since the 70s, but it is nearing the end of its life and needs to be retired.”
Anyone who can help with fundraising should contact Mr Batchelor on 01535 274928.