A MUCH-loved Bradford community hall will remain open until at least the end of next March.

A nursery and several community groups and clubs currently operate out of Victoria Hall in Queensbury. 

The Queensbury Community Programme (QCP) group said Bradford Council had planned to shut the building at the start of the new year.

Now, the plan is to keep the hall open until the end of the financial year as the search for a sustainable proposal continues.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport said: “We know Victoria Hall is a much-loved local asset to people in Queensbury and we’ve been doing all we can to try to find a viable solution.

"After meeting ward members Cllr Alex Mitchell and Cllr Hazel Johnson and hearing the concerns they raised it was agreed to keep Victoria Hall open until the end of the financial year (March 31, 2024) so we can give every chance to any proposals to come forward that can sustainability take on the building for the future.”

More than 100 residents attended a public meeting organised by the Queensbury Ward Community Partnership (QWCP).

A statement read out said: “Board of Directors are buoyed by the overwhelming response to the petition(s) to keep Victoria Hall open for use by the local community.

"This level of interest supports QCP’s vision for its intended use and maintenance of Victoria Hall”.

Chair of the QWCP Robert Hargreaves ended the meeting by urging everyone to attend a demonstration tomorrow (2pm) in front of City Hall before the Full Council meeting at 4pm.

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “The original intention was to dispose of this property some years ago as part of the development of the new swimming pool at Sedbergh.

"Since then, the Council has been working with QCP to facilitate a Community Asset Transfer of this property and during this process has been contributing to the running costs whilst QCP develop their business case.

"However, the heating system at the hall is now beyond economic repair and a decision on the hall’s future needs to be made.

"Like most other local authorities, Bradford Council is facing unprecedented financial pressures consequently the council cannot continue to indefinitely support the facility.

"We’re meeting QCP to discuss their business plan in more detail but have to be clear that if it is not able to be realistically self-funding then we will have to look at disposing of the property.

"We’re aware of the strength of feeling from local councillors and the community on this and would like to stress that we’ve made every effort to find a sustainable long-term solution for the property and will continue to do so.”