A DATE has been set for the handover of the Barlow Institute from Blackburn with Darwen Council to a committee of volunteers.

The historic community facility, in Bolton Road, Edgworth, was dealt a blow when the council announced it was to withdraw its annual funding of £42,000 and pull out all paid staff.

Now, the council has set the date of December 5 for its full handover of the building, after effectively removing staff yesterday.

But Coun Colin Rigby, who represents Edgworth, said the committee may not be prepared to accept the building in its current state.

He said: “I’ve handed a three-page list of defects with the building to the council.”

Coun Damian Talbot, executive member for leisure and culture, said: “We have received the list of issues and will work with the committee and endeavour to address them as soon as possible.

“The council is offering the same arrangement for taking over the Barlow Institute as other groups taking over community centres because we want to give everyone a fair deal.”

Coun Rigby said plans for the asset transfer were going well, but they could do with more volunteers.

Coun Stephen Simpson, chairman of North Turton Parish Council, said the institute was vital to the community.

He said: “It’s the heart of our community, and it has been for 100 years. Without it, there’s very little social infrastructure in the village.

“The handover will be a traumatic time for us, with all the work that has to go into running the building.”

Anyone who can help should call Miss Dowle on 01204 852522.