RAMSBOTTOM Co-op Hall has been awarded a grant of £19,000 as efforts continue to save the at-risk theatre.

The money will be used by Ramsbottom Co-op Hall Heritage Trust to commission a market appraisal and a building valuation survey of the Victorian venue.

The Ramsbottom Co-op Hall was built in 1876 as part of an extension to the Ramsbottom Industrial and Provident Society building.

Seating 800 people, it was the chief theatrical and social venue in the town, providing a gathering place for the working class community for arts and education.

The building was recently awarded Grade II listed status by Historic England, in recognition that it is a rare example of its type and an important building in the history of Cooperative movement.

It was added to the Theatres Trust’s Theatres at Risk list in January 2021 due to continuing fears it is under threat of redevelopment.

However, much of the building's original interior remains and hope remains the venue could easily be revived for live performance use.

Stephen Marley, of the Ramsbottom Co-op Hall Heritage Trust, said: "We are thrilled to receive this generous grant from the Theatres Trust.

"It is a great kick start to the revival of one of Ramsbottom’s lost jewels."

Alongside the funding, the theatre will receive support and advice from the Theatres Trust advice team.

Claire Appleby, architecture adviser at Theatres Trust, added: "We believe every theatre on our Theatres at Risk list has the potential to be returned for use by their communities, providing performance venues of types currently lacking in their local areas and bringing much needed footfall to beleaguered high streets.

"We are pleased to support Ramsbottom Co-op Hall as we know from experience that these early stages

can make a crucial difference to the progress of theatre revitalisation projects."