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Monday, 28 July 2014

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Appeal for public to protect Ulverston hall’s future

RESIDENTS are being called on to step in and help keep one of Ulverston’s best-loved buildings open.

The rallying cry has been issued by a consortium of groups hoping to save the town’s Coronation Hall from closure due to threats to its annual funding package.

A public meeting is set to be held in the popular theatre at 6.30pm on Thursday, in a bid to form a Friends of the Coronation Hall group.

Peter Winston, Ulverston community champion and interim group treasurer, urged people to attend.

He said: “It would be unthinkable for the Coro to fizzle out, it’s a part of this town.

“We would like as many people as possible to join this new group to play a small part in helping to keep it going.

“If just 10 per cent of those on the mailing list would get involved, we would have 400 people to call upon to help in whatever way they can.”

The Coronation Hall is owned by South Lakeland District Council, which pays a yearly subsidy of around £300,000 to keep the facility open.

The authority is looking at ways to reduce or withdraw this sum as part of cost-cutting measures.

Mr Winston claims a locally run Coro could be operated for a more realistic amount if a volunteer army was available to help.

Teams of stewards, coffee morning helpers, front-of-house operators and publicity generators will all be sought.

Mr Winston added: “Anything we can do to reduce the overheads would make a big difference.”

Group secretary, Councillor Colin Pickthall said: “We have proposals to make about the cost of membership and also the advantages members will be entitled to. We have a mission to expand the activities of the hall, to raise funding for "extras" and above all to advertise the hall's facilities to a wider group of people.’’

It is hoped more than 200 people will turn up to the meeting in the main hall on Thursday – and that many will pledge their support and membership.

A Friends of the Coronation Hall group subscription charge has been suggested of £1 per month.

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