A VILLAGE hall is set to be taken on by residents for the first time in 22 years.
A new management committee is expected to sign an agreement with the local authority which would see the community granted a lease to run Holywell’s Carmel Village Hall.
Flintshire Council announced its decision to grant the lease at a meeting of the cabinet last week.
But Flintshire councillor for Whitford Chris Dolphin has sounded a note of caution warning considerable repairs are needed before the lease can be signed.
“It has to be handed over in a reasonable condition,” he said. “It has to happen and I’m confident it will happen, but there needs to be repairs before anybody here puts their name to paper.”
The hall, which is a meeting place for a host of community groups, was originally built as a school in 1863, before being bought by the then county council in 1905.
Cllr Dolphin, who is secretary of the village hall, said the building was “greatly loved”, but had been neglected for decades.
Before the new committee take on responsibility, he said it would need a new heating system and damp-proofing.
“If you’re going to ask a few villagers to take on a large property we need a bit of a start, but I’m confident the county council understand that situation.”
Flintshire Council deputy leader Cllr Bernie Attridge said the authority was fully aware of the extent of the works needed at the building.
“We have been working very closely with the village hall trustees in understanding their position and what can be achieved through this community asset transfer,” he said.
Once the lease is signed, the committee will be eligible to apply for major grant funding from various organisations to carry out further repairs to the fabric of the hall.
The plan is for “a smarter, brighter, warmer meeting place for various people and groups within our community”, Cllr Dolphin said.
He added: “Exciting times are ahead.”
A call has gone out for residents interested in becoming a member of the new committee to attend the AGM of the hall committee on Wednesday, May 2014 at 7.30pm in the village hall.
Anyone interested in joining the committee is asked to forward their name to Cllr Dolphin by calling 01352 713415, 01352 715743 or 07849459568 or email chris_dolphin@ hotmail.co.uk.