The new community group which has taken over the management of Ormskirk Civic Hall has announced the building will officially re-open on 1 April 2016.
Ormskirk Civic Hall closed in January 2016 after Forward Motion Art Community Interest Company (CIC) ceased trading. This had been set up by the Engine Rooms to operate the Civic Hall after it was transferred to them by West Lancashire Borough Council in 2013.
Now Liz Wainwright and Gemma Briscoe, two members of local theatre group Ormskirk Pleasure Folk, have set up Ormskirk Civic Hall CIC to take on management of the building.
The Council, which still owns the building, worked with Liz and Gemma so their group could take over the lease. The new CIC will be responsible for the management and repairs to the building, but the Council will still own it. Liz and Gemma know the building well through their association with Ormskirk Pleasure Folk, which has held its theatrical productions at the hall for many years.
Now they are busy making sure the building is ready to be operational again from Friday 1 April. One of the first public events planned under the new management will be the Pleasure Folk’s own production of ‘Oliver’ from Sunday 24 April to Saturday 30 April.
Liz Wainwright, said: “Managing the Civic Hall is a big undertaking, but Gemma and I really love the building and it just needs some TLC to make it an even greater part of the community. Local people have been great rallying around to help us since we took over the lease and we have managed to get the roof repaired after we did some fundraising.
“The Council have been absolutely fantastic in working with us and the staff there could not have been more helpful. Now we are looking forward to the future and we are taking bookings for private functions and community use of the building once again. We are also planning an open day on Saturday 9 April so people can find out more about the building.
“Once we have got settled down with the running of the building we will think about organising events such as the comedy nights again.” For more information on the Civic Hall please visit Ormskirk Civic Hall (external link).
Councillor Yvonne Gagen, portfolio holder for Leisure, said: “We are really pleased that people with strong links with the Civic Hall and such obvious affection for the building have taken on the lease. The Council wishes them every success with their venture and we will help them in any way we can.”