Councillors’ u-turn over plans to end funding for town venue

Commemoration Hall, in Huntingdon.

Commemoration Hall, in Huntingdon. - Credit: Archant

Councillors in Huntingdon have had a change over heart over plans to stop grant funding to the Commemoration Hall.

In November, Huntingdon Town Council offered the hall trustees a final, one-off grant of £20,000 and insisted that the venue become “self sufficient”.

But, at a meeting of the finance committee held on January 7, councillors agreed to allow the Commemoration Hall to apply for fresh funding of up to £20,000 worth of grants to fund capital projects including the renovation of the its kitchen.

The mayor of Huntingdon, Councillor Bill Hensley said: “I think the new chairman of the Commemoration Hall is looking to be self sufficient. I have got no objections to putting money in for capital projects.

“If they have a proper business plan then I have no got a problem with giving them the money but I don’t think we should be paying for the running costs of the hall.”

Councillor Tom Sanderson added said: “We need to put money into the grant budget so the Commemoration Hall can put in a reasonable application.”

The hall was built in 1840 as a literary institute and was renamed in the 1950s to honour those who had died in the Second World War. It was also expanded to incorporate the stage and auditorium.

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From 1959, the town council operated and subsidised the hall, until a board of trustees was created in 2006 and took over responsibility.