The community has rallied as part of a bid to keep Ramsbottom Civic Hall "in use for future generations".

At the start of the year, Friends of Ramsbottom Civic Hall (FORCH) asked for volunteers to help run the Market Place site amid concerns over its future.

Currently, Bury Council subsidises the hall, along with other civic venues in the borough, but Ramsbottom Labour Cllr Gareth Staples-Jones said the local authority can no longer continue running the sites amid government cuts.

There is a limited event schedule in place at the moment however the council can only provide one full time member of staff to run the venue and FORCH, until the call for help, has relied on a small number of helpers.

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It is hoped with the help of more volunteers that the use of the hall can be advertised to a wider audience, and it can become a more attractive prospect for community use and events.

Currently the venue has been used by regular events such as Rammy Makers Market, Friday food night, the retro festival, dance classes and for private functions, as well as annual events like the chocolate and cheese festival and Christmas markets.

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A public meeting was held last Thursday with volunteers and councillors to discuss the hall’s future.

Cllr Staples-Jones said: “ Last Thursday marked a positive step forwards with some solid actions agreed on what we need to do next to engage more with groups who might want to use the hall.

"To survive it needs to be accessible and affordable to the wider community.

"This is a really exciting opportunity to keep a 130-year-old building in use for future generations.”