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Library/Youth House

Posted by Robin Hoyle, Thursday, May 3, 2001

The proposed move of the library was always going to be controversial, but with entirely laudable disability access rules coming in to force in 2003, there is simply no way that the current library building could be upgraded and made accessible with out massive expenditure.

Being pragmatic for a moment, the issue is to ensure that the buildings aren't removed from public use rather than to attempt to fight an unwinnable battle about keeping the library where it is. The current use of the building precludes it from having the kind of money spent on it that would bring it up to the required accessibility standard.

Our attentions should be turned towards putting forward proposals for a re-birth of the library along with the adjacent and currently crumbling Youth House. I am involved along with HB Junior Band, HB Brass Band, The Arts festival, Cragg Vale Gamelan and the Calderdale Theatre School in attempting to raise funds for a feasibility study to look at developing a performance and rehearsal venue in the town, using, if possible, these two central and publicly owned buildings. I am sure other people may have other ideas about attracting lottery funding or similar to renovate, build in the accessibility required and retain the buildings for public use.

It's not fair, but organising disabled access to an existing council owned facility is not going to attract or even be eligible for lottery funding.

So let's try and be positive about the potential for a new beginning for these buildings and resist the alternative, already mooted, that the Calderdale Tories will sell the place off for "luxury apartments" - probably serviced by a convenient burger bar close by!

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