Stricken community centre to be demolished this week

The Walker Welfare Centre will be demolished this week.
The Walker Welfare Centre will be demolished this week.

Demolition work on a community centre that campaigners fought to save will begin this week.

The 200-year-old Walker Welfare Centre in Thornhill has laid empty since 2006, but since Kirklees Council announced it intention to demolish the building in July, campaigners have fought to save it.

But despite discussions between members of campaign group Save Walker Welfare (Again), ward councillors and council officers, work is expected to begin later this week.

It will take about two weeks to clear the site, but arrangements have been made to salvage some important features from the building’s history, which Save Walker Welfare (Again) hope to incorporate into their plans for a new building.

Coun David Sheard, Kikrlees Council’s joint cabinet member for resources, said: “I met with local ward councillors and members of the Save Walker Welfare group in September and agreed that, while the demolition of this dangerous building would still go ahead, the council remains open to proposals for the future use of the site.

“I understand the Save Walker Welfare group are keen to pursue a new community building. Clearly it will take some time for them to develop their plans and raise the finance required, but I am happy to give my assurances that there are no plans to dispose of the site for at least the next five years.

“This will enable community groups to bring forward their proposals.”

For more on this story, see this week’s Reporter.