Campaigners plan Hornsea's Floral Hall rescue
CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Hornsea's "grand old lady of entertainment" have submitted a business plan.
Members of the Floral Hall Community Centre have spent hours putting together the plan, which it is hoped will be strong enough to save the venue from being demolished and turned into a car park in this, its 99th year.
Richard Carmichael, chairman of the Floral Hall Community Centre, handed the business plan to Darren Stevens, head of culture and information at East Riding Council, at County Hall in Beverley yesterday.
The council had previously said the seafront venue was running at a £100,000 loss a year.
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However Mr Carmichael said he has every confidence the hall can make money and be a success.
He said: "We were up until 11pm the night before finishing the business plan.
"There are a lot of people who want us to succeed, and I think we will.
"I would love for the council to take one look at the plan and say 'yes' but I think there could be a few meetings and discussions and it could take a little longer before they give us their decision."
Hundreds of people from all over the region came out to protest when East Riding Council Cabinet papers revealed the hall could be demolished within weeks. The plan would also see improvements to the leisure centre and the Floral Hall site turned into a car park and no replacement facility built in the town.
In the end, Cabinet members decided to offer the freehold to the community at no cost if a committee group could come up with a valid plan to secure its future within six months. Mr Carmichael, who is also president of the Hornsea Amateur Theatre Society (Hats) which uses the hall for its productions, said: "It is very important this hall is saved. There is not another venue like it in the town or area.
"Things are progressing well and I am very upbeat about future prospects. I am confident the Floral Hall will be saved.
"The enthusiasm from residents has, and continues to be, excellent. We have a list of more than 100 volunteers with varying skills. Attendances to the events at the hall also seemed to have increased with the recent publicity."
In the past six months, a charitable company has been formed, money has been raised for a fighting fund and a survey on the building has revealed it is structurally sound, although it is in need of much remedial work and tender loving care.
Anne Padgett, who is also one of the directors, said: "Everybody was very upset when it was announced the hall could be demolished.
"It was a beautiful building and could soon be again.
"It is very well used and synonymous with Hornsea.
"It is exciting that the business plan has been handed in."
East Riding Council will now look at the details of the business plan. There has been no estimated date as to when a decision will be made.