Cllr Marlene Haworth, Leader of the Council:
“Following the recent news of closure of this much-loved community facility, I am pleased to provide an update. As an Oswaldtwistle resident myself I share the impact of the closure and fully understand the concern people have expressed.
“Hyndburn Council recently published a survey asking for people’s thoughts on the future. So far over 600 people have taken part and over 97% of people would like to see it continue to be a performance/theatre space, plus have provided some excellent ideas to expand the offer and attract more customers in future.
“In addition to this many people have approached me and I have also received a petition with hundreds of signatures, urging the council to secure its future.
“I would like to reassure everyone that re-opening this wonderful building is a priority and I am working closely with officers at the council to ensure it does not stay closed a minute longer than necessary.
“Although the building is currently in the hands of liquidators, and until legal process is followed we cannot take any necessary action, I am pleased to state we have been contacted by a number of businesses and organisations who have expressed an interest in operating the building.
“I am very pleased that we have such high-quality early interest in this building and have enjoyed informally discussing ideas with several businesses over the past couple of weeks.
“So that we are in a position to ‘hit the ground running’ when the building is back in council hands I would urge anyone interested in operating the building to please get in touch to informally discuss ideas and also ask that our community take part in the online survey, so that we ensure the building offers a service you want and will use.
“As soon as there is more information to share I will be updating the community and keeping everyone involved throughout the process.”
The online survey has gained over 630 responses so far and will remain open until further notice. Ideas put forward in the survey include: adding a café, new community classes, big name acts, film screenings, craft fairs, temporary exhibitions, wedding venue and hot desking facilities.
Overwhelmingly survey participants (97%) would like to see the building continue to be used as a performance/theatre space and the majority would like additional uses including clubs/groups (81%), workshops (73%) and exhibitions (60%).