Joy as town hall set to be freed from shackles

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

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

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TODMORDEN Town Hall will be released from its shackles as a project to repair the Grade one listed building’s damaged stonework is set to begin.

Calderdale Council has agreed to spend more than £100,000 carrying out the repairs, which will then lead to removal of the scaffolding which has surrounded the town hall for several years.

Gary Borrows, head of cultural services at Calderdale Council, said: “As the town hall is a Grade one listed building, we will need to agree the programme of work with English Heritage and will work closely with them throughout.”

News that funding for the repair work is in place has been welcomed by councillors and local groups.

Todmorden town councillor David O’Neill, who tried to get the town hall stonework issue addressed during his time as a Calderdale Council cabinet member, said he was absolutely delighted.

“Everybody I meet in Todmorden wants the scaffolding to come down,” he said. “They want the roof fixing, the scaffolding taking down and the building to look nice.

“It has been three years of hard work trying to convince Calderdale Council to come up with the money. I’m very pleased.”

Paul Clarke, chairman of Todmorden Civic Society, said: “The society welcomes the news that Calderdale Council are at long last undertaking masonry repairs to the building’s facade which will hopefully lead to the removal of the scaffolding that has had an adverse impact not only on the building’s character but on the character of the conservation area for the past few years.

“However, we mustn’t forget that this is only one element of the overall work which needs to be carried out in order to preserve this fine Grade one listed building.

“We hope that Calderdale set a good example to other listed building owners by continuing with their duty of care not only to this magnificent building but other historical assets under their custodianship.”

James Gregory, chairman of Todmorden Pride, said: “It’s a matter of huge relief. The scaffolding is a blight on the town.

“I’m delighted but it begs the question that if it’s only £100,000, why has it taken so long?

“If we had been aware that it could have been done at this price, everybody would have made a much bigger noise.”