Community centre plan for Hesketh Bank

The current hall which is nearing the end of its useful life.
The current hall which is nearing the end of its useful life.

Villagers could be left without a community centre if plans to replace their rotting wooden building are not given the go-ahead.

Councillors have been warned that if two ex-Army huts, joined together in an L-shape to form a major part of Hesketh Bank’s popular village hall, are not replaced soon, the centre may not be able to operate.

“The building is at an end of life state and must be replaced if the community centre is to continue,” says a report to West Lancashire Council’s planning committee.

“The Back Hall is in a very poor state of repair with external timber cladding now failing and exposing the internal structure. Last year the heating system completely failed and cannot be repaired.”

Plans for a factory-built steel-framed replacement have been submitted to the district council.

To limit disruption to users, the village’s parish council wants to get the work done this August and says it could be built in just two days, with sections of the new Back Hall lifted into place by cranes.

“A significant number of our user groups would not have access to alternative facilities were the community centre to close for an extended period, which would be the case if traditional building technologies were involved,” adds the report.

“This would cause major problems. So the trustees have elected not to use bricks and mortar, but to use a factory built modular solution which means that the build period is very short.”

Hesketh Bank Community Centre was founded in 1944 and celebrated its 75th anniversary last year. The centre comprises a Front Hall, Back Hall, a Band Hut and a multi-use games area (MUGA).

It is hoped the new building will help the centre become a community hub for the village.