A COMMUNITY hub in Bradford is battling a huge increase in its energy bills.

Eccleshill Community Association, based in an 19th century building on Stone Hall Road, have seen their bills double over the last 18 months.

For years, the hub has been serving the local community with a wide range of services and activities.

But the costs of maintaining such a big old building are proving troublesome.

"There has been a rise in costs. The biggest one that hit us has been to our utilities," said Terry Pearson, Chair of the voluntary organisation.

"We are having to redo the electrics because they were so old. There is a massive cost there that has to be paid.

"We have doubled our utility costs in the last 18 months.

"A large part of our overhead is the main hall which we use for classes. To warm that building for one hour is now more of an issue than it was two years ago.

"The heating only goes on when it absolutely needs to go on. It is such a large old building.

"It is single-glazed and not insulated. It is such a huge cost."

It is not just electric costs that have gone up either, with food also on the rise.

This has meant a slight increase in prices for customers.

Mr Pearson added: "Across the board, there has been an increase in food cost.

"Our biggest is in the price of fish. That is the one that has doubled in the last couple of years."

Mr Pearson was keen to thank all those who give up their time to work in the centre.

He also spoke of how crucial the service they provide is to people in the local community.

He said: "We muddle through because we follow the ethos of volunteers being volunteers, not people getting paid.

"We pay very little out, it is all done for the community.

"The message is while there may be increased costs we mitigate them with a bit of extra effort from volunteers."

Mr Pearson added: "There are a few people in there who only speak to people when they are there.

"Their social life is three or four hours and a bit of lunch in mechanics.

"It is what makes it worthwhile. Seeing those older people getting the benefit from what we all put in as volunteers is what makes it work."