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Entertainer's plans for Padiham venue
9:00pm Saturday 18th May 2013 in News
A VETERAN of the entertainment business has said he hopes to breathe new life into a unique dance hall.
Padiham Town Hall ballroom’s new manager, Alan Barnes, has taken on a part-time role to put the historic venue back on the map.
The ballroom was a hub for dancers in the 1940s and 1950s, famous for its art-deco interior and sprung dancefloor.
Now Mr Barnes, who has toured Europe as a DJ and performed alongside the likes of Bryan Adams, is hoping to recapture those halcyon days.
The 55-year-old, who lives in Barrowford, said: “It’s a beautiful, Grade Two listed venue and it seems criminally underused.
“I think this is the first time the ballroom has had an actual manager and not just a caretaker.
“It’s a part-time position funded by Padiham Town Council but I’m working overtime at the minute to try to organise as much as possible.
“We’ve got all sorts planned from social events like the ballroom dancing nights and 70s and 80s discos, to the more community-focused events like antique fairs and yoga classes.
“It’s difficult as I’m working with practically no budget but I’m hopeful we might get some funding soon so we can at least advertise.”
The ballroom was built in 1939 at a cost of £40,000 with a capacity of 400.
It now holds just 200 people but Padiham historian Bob Clark said it was still the envy of many other Lancashire venues.
He said: “The ballroom has something very special. The stage and the lighting are magnificant and the mechanism in the floorboards absorbs shock incredibly well and allows for excellent dancing.
“I’m really glad it’s being kept open and I wish Alan every success in making it profitable.”
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