Work starts now for community centre

The decision to give the go-ahead to a long-awaited community centre has been hailed as great news.

But there is still a lot of work to do, the chairman of the Mirfield Community Trust has said.

Mirfield Community Trust were granted outline permission for a community centre with car park and public spaces on the Gilder Hall site by Kirklees Council Planning and Highways Committee last week.

Chairman Andy Dyson welcomed the news, adding: “It’s been a long and winding road and we are not at the end of it yet.”

Plans for the site go back more than a decade, and the current application was originally submitted in November 2010.

“This decision will allow us to go out and raise the money to complete the journey we started 15 years ago,” Mr Dyson added.

Mr Dyson said the costing exercises for the project would have to be done again as they were now out of date. The estimated cost for the building itself was £1.5m in 2005.

Mr Dyson said the trust was now in talks with sponsors who had expressed an interest in supporting the development once outline permission was granted.

The Trust and the Gilder Hall Youth Foundation currently have a temporary home in Water Royd Lane, used by 450 people each week.

Mr Dyson said the vision for the new community centre remained unchanged. “We want a building that is suitable for the whole community and youths which offers grassroots activities,” he added.

He also said the current centre will be able to stay running while plans for the new one are put in place. He said: “The place is thriving at the moment and I can see no reason why we can’t keep that going.” The trust now have three years to comply with the conditions imposed the Planning and Highways Committee, and a further two to start building on the ground once all conditions are met.