Back to drawing board for town hall grant bid

Summer 2010''Scaffolding on Todmorden Town Hall''Pic for Todmorden News
Summer 2010''Scaffolding on Todmorden Town Hall''Pic for Todmorden News

A DEVELOPMENT group will go back to the drawing board after its bid for nearly £5m of funding for the Todmorden Town Hall restoration project was unsuccessful.

The Town Hall Development Group was informed last week that it would not be receiving a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant for the restoration and refurbishment of the Grade 1 listed building.

But members of the group have reaffirmed their commitment to the project and, after considering feedback from the HLF, have agreed to re-apply next year.

Coun Pauline Nash, Calderdale Council cabinet member for safer and stronger communities, said: “Naturally we are all disappointed with the outcome but there are also very positive signs.

“The door is still open to a re-submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund. There is also a real determination and desire to restore this wonderful building to its rightful place as the hub of the township.

“The group has worked tirelessly these last two years especially and I am sure it will respond to the challenge.”

Over the coming months, the group will review the proposals in order to strengthen the heritage elements of the bid further and to consolidate the other funding options.

Karen Lewis, from Calderdale Council’s libraries, museums and arts department, said: “We are very disappointed but we are trying to be very positive about it.

“We are going to look at it again. One of the things suggested was to split it and look at separate aspects.

“The bid is not finished.”

The group has expressed its intention to address the short term problems with the town hall’s external stonework so that the protective scaffolding could be removed.

“People are so fed up with the scaffolding on the facade,” she said. “The group is going to look at if there are ways of removing that before we put in a bid.

“The Town Hall Development Group are very committed people. Todmorden is very lucky to have such positive and enthusiastic people.”

Coun Margareta Holmstedt, who is a Todmorden Town Council representative on the group, said: “I think that this is a very good bid and I think that we are eventually going to get this money, but it might mean changing the configuration of the downstairs of the building.”