A CAMPAIGN to protect the future of Bury’s civic venues is gathering pace after council documents revealed three sites could close.

The Elizabethan Suite in Bury, Longfield Suite in Prestwich and Ramsbottom Civic Hall could all shut their doors in order to generate savings of around £250,000 a year.

All three venues operated at a loss before they were forced to close due to the coronavirus restrictions with a public consultation set to help decide their fate.

Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Michael Powell is the councillor for St Mary’s Ward, which includes the Longfield Suite.

He said: “After the year we’ve all had, community spaces are going to be a vital for people to come together and see each other again. For the council to propose closing them now is particularly cruel and short sighted. We need to find ways to keep these facilities open for the future.”

Local campaigner Gareth Lloyd-Johnson, added: “Everyone understands why the Longfield is shut at the moment, but pre-Covid it was busy right through the week with community, cultural and family events. It is the only large public venue anywhere in Prestwich and it will be such a loss if it closes. We’ve been overwhelmed by the level of public support in the campaign to keep the Longfield open.”

The council’s Conservative group leader, Cllr Nick Jones, has also opposed any plans to close the venues.

“The Conservatives want to see our civic venues saved and for the Council to invest in these vital community buildings,” he said.