Worden Hall

Worden Hall set to become community centre

Chloé Vaughan

Over 500 people responded to South Ribble’s consultation, calling for the grade two-listed Worden Hall to become a venue for community use.

The four-week consultation is claimed to be one of the biggest that the council has ever undertaken, and ran between 19 August to 13 September.

The public was given three options, with additional space for comments or other suggestions. The first option was for ‘Community Use’, the second option was for ‘Small Weddings/Events Venue’, and the third was for ‘Large Weddings/Events Venue’.

The first option was the most preferred option with 345 people, while third option was the least preferred with 338 people choosing this as their last choice. Another option of a small wedding and events venue was given 318 votes as the public’s second choice.

At the council’s Cabinet meeting on 16 October, it is expected that a commitment to undertake further modelling of the first and second option plans will come forward, with a finalised report and implementation going back to the cabinet in January 2020.

Cllr Matthew Tomlinson, cabinet member for finance, property and assets, said: “I am thrilled with the response we’ve had to the consultation. We all know that Worden Hall is an iconic building and seeing it falling into disrepair is tragedy.

“When looking at the data as a whole, it became apparent that there was a strong appetite for a community use option with scope to also include small events and small weddings.

“Our respondents agreed that something has to be done and we were pleased that we received comments thanking us for bringing this consultation forward. This is a complex issue and the responses were no different. We want to make sure that we reflect what our community are looking for and we are setting up a working group and modelling a plan to go forward to do just that.

“We care about the future of the Hall as much as you do and we want to do this right.”

For a full look at the consultation response, click here.

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