Community set to take ownership of Hornsea Floral Hall
A DEAL to save the grand old lady of entertainment in Hornsea looks set to be agreed.
People campaigned in their thousands to stop East Riding Council turning Hornsea's Floral Hall into a car park.
A committee of volunteers submitted a business plan seeking to take over the ownership and management of the building.
Although there are numerous administrative and legal matters still to finalise, there is now an agreement in principle for such a transfer of the Floral Hall in time for the venue's 100th anniversary in July.
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Councillor Stephen Parnaby, leader of the council, said: "This is excellent news and I am delighted matters are moving towards a successful, positive outcome.
"Council officers and the local community group have worked well together with the shared desire to transfer the Floral Hall.
"Now the council and local people can move forward and, despite the fact a number of important hurdles still need to be overcome, I am confident a deal will be formally sealed in the near future."
East Riding Council had originally set aside £2.6m to redevelop the Floral Hall into a modern venue for the town.
However, residents were left furious when cabinet papers revealed in March last year the council planned to spend £1.2m of that money demolishing the Floral Hall, redesigning the site for car parking and landscaping and improving Hornsea Leisure Centre.
The remaining £1.4m of the original funding pot ear- marked for the hall was due to be reallocated to other schemes, which may not have even been in the town.
However, following the protests, the council decided to give residents six months to save the venue, allocating £1.2m to Hornsea Leisure Centre.
Richard Carmichael, chairman of the Floral Hall Community Centre, said: "Communication is ongoing with the council and we are confident a quick and satisfying resolution can be reached in the very near future.
"We are exceptionally keen to take over the hall and especially to celebrate its 100-year anniversary in July.
"I am confident the legal documentation won't throw anything at us that we can't overcome."
Mr Carmichael was tight- lipped on the contents of the business plan, but said they will be revealed at a public meeting at the hall next Thursday at 7.30pm.
Ward councillor Barbara Jefferson said: "I am so pleased we were able to find eight people in Hornsea to put themselves forward as board members and I wish them every success."
Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart was among the campaigners.
He said: "It is great to see the community in Hornsea find a long-term solution to save the Floral Hall.
"This is a great example of what can be achieved when local people come together, speak with one voice and work towards a common goal."
The council will make no further comment until all the legal documentation relating to the transfer of Hornsea Floral Hall has been signed.