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Campaign launched to save Wath Town Hall

Wath Town Hall appeal. Pictured (L-R): Alex Fleming (local historian and member of Wath-upon-Dearne Community Partnership), Pauline Oldfield, John Healey MP, Chris Oldfield, Cllr Alan Gosling, Cllr Alan Atkin, Joyce Maleham (Wath-upon-Dearne Community Partnership secretary).

Wath Town Hall appeal. Pictured (L-R): Alex Fleming (local historian and member of Wath-upon-Dearne Community Partnership), Pauline Oldfield, John Healey MP, Chris Oldfield, Cllr Alan Gosling, Cllr Alan Atkin, Joyce Maleham (Wath-upon-Dearne Community Partnership secretary).

A campaign has been launched to save a historic town hall from falling into dilapidation.

Cash-strapped Rotherham Council is set to close Grade II listed Wath Town Hall and put it up for sale later this year.

Residents, councillors and an MP are appealing for the public to support a campaign to make sure the hall, which dates back more than 200 years, has a long term future.

Community leaders want volunteers to come forward and play a part in its future. The group wants to hear about ideas for funding applications with a view to potentially putting in a bid for the hall and taking over the running of it.

They are also calling for the council to make sure the green behind the hall, which hosts the annual town gala, is retained for community use.

Dearne MP John Healey said: “Massive cuts are forcing the council to cut staff, sell valued community buildings like Wath Town Hall and put its green at risk.”

Wath councillor Alan Gosling added: “The town hall needs a lot of money spending on it. It is a shame we are having to consider selling it, but I’m afraid buildings like this have to go if we are to protect frontline services in the face of millions of pounds of Government cuts. We are fighting to save as much of the hall and green as we can for community use.”

The hall is currently being used by a small number of council staff.

The Rotherham authority, which must meet £23 million budget cuts by next April, intend to relocate staff elsewhere later this year and sell the building.

Ann Roche, a trustee at Wath Community Partnership, is asking people to come up with ideas for ways the hall could be used, how to generate an income and put in grants for funding applications.

She said: “People are concerned about what’s going to happen to our magnificent Grade II listed town hall. We’d like to hear from anybody who feels committed enough to get involved and is interested in taking part in its future.”

Resident Pauline Oldfield, 80, added: “The town hall is one of Wath’s gems, it’s a little bit of historic treasure. The building has a lot of potential.”

 

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