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Saturday, 30 August 2014

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Talks over possible reopening of Whitehaven Civic Hall

Council chiefs are to meet members of a community group to discuss proposals to re-open Whitehaven Civic Hall.

Civic Hall photo
The Civic Hall, Whitehaven

Whitehaven Civic Community Partnership has handed a business plan to Copeland council outlining a project to run the building as a not-for-profit organisation.

And now council leader Elaine Woodburn, chief executive Paul Walker, and Julie Betteridge, the authority’s head of regeneration, will meet partnership members next Wednesday to discuss the plan.

The business plan outlines a future for the Civic Hall with applications for funding made to the Copeland Community Fund, WREN and The Big Lottery.

Pulling in that funding, however, is dependant on the partnership obtaining the lease of the Civic Hall.

Don Messenger, a member of Whitehaven Civic Community Partnership, said: “We are going into this with our eyes wide open. We know how much work needs to be done, but we are more than willing to do it.”

The aim is to welcome back groups into the Civic Hall, so “they can get back to enjoying it like I have for the past 40 years,’’ he said. If the plan was successful, it would be run “by the community for the community”.

Copeland Community Fund had previously awarded the partnership a development grant to help draw up the business plan.

“We wanted the council to have our plan in good time before the meeting so that it can be as productive as possible,’’ Don said. “We are all very passionate about getting the Civic Hall re-opened and we have cut no corners.”

“We want to bring the sound of laughter and music back into Whitehaven,” he said.

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