COMMUNITY groups have helped to save five centres or civic halls that had been earmarked for closure by Pendle Council.

The borough council had raised doubts over the future of Barnoldswick Civic Hall, Brierfield Town Hall, Brierfield Community Centre, Primet Community Centre and Trawden Community Centre after looking to cut back on their financial support for the venues.

The move was part of the council’s bid to secure a £1million ‘efficiency support grant’ from the Government and would save them £70,000 for the upcoming financial year.

But deals have now been struck to keep all five venues open, with local groups or town councils taking over the running of them.

Following negotiations, Brierfield Town Council has agreed to take on the running of both the town hall and the community centre.

In Trawden the community centre is to be transferred to a Charitable Interest Organisation known as the Trawden Forest Community Centre, after the group was formed to make sure the venue would remain open.

Barnoldswick Town Council will now take over the ownership and running of the civic hall, while Colne Town Council will take over ownership of Primet Community Centre, which already has a well-established management committee.

Coun Ken Hartley, who sits on Barnoldswick Town Council, said: “Taking over the civic hall is something we thought was right from the word go, but it wasn’t an easy decision to make.

“We had to do a lot of due diligence to make sure there weren’t going to be any sudden repair costs to the building.

“There is a lot of potential for it that hasn’t been exploited recently. A lot of groups in Barnoldswick need space and hopefully we can help them with the civic hall.”

Borough deputy chief Philip Mousdale said: “The council’s overall strategic aim is to cease the direct provision of community centres; that where possible agreements be reached with town and parish councils (or other bodies) for the transfer to them of the buildings for them to continue community provision at no or substantially reduced cost to the council.”