Louth Town Hall needs a major £150,000 investment to stay open for the future - with businesses and individuals now being asked to help out.
The most important piece of work that needs carrying out is a replacement of the building’s boilers, which will cost around £65,000 - the Town Hall will need this essential upgrade in order to remain open.
Buildings like Louth Town Hall need tender, loving, care and constant maintenance to keep them as a building the community can be proud of.Andy Howlett
Other less essential upgrades include repainting the ballroom, which will also cost around £65,000, and re-carpeting the building will cost around £20,000.
The Louth Education Community Interest Company and Andy Howlett, who runs the Town Hall, have personally financed the the building for the last four years - but this latest hurdle will only be overcome if businesses and the public step in to help.
Andy told the Leader: “We have invested considerable sums in keeping the building going for four years without grant or local authority support but, to be able to bring big names to Louth, and have a building that Louth is proud of, we need to build the facilities and refurbish the building.
“Our first project is replacing the aging heating system that is on its last legs. With a building of this size and complexity, that doesn’t come cheap.”
“People say “Why don’t you go to the council?” Well, they don’t own it anymore and they don’t have any spare money so the local grants system has been cut back.
“Whilst we will be applying for grant funding from various sources, including the National Lottery, we aren’t guaranteed anything.
“Buildings like Louth Town Hall need tender, loving, care and constant maintenance to keep them as a building the community can be proud of.
“Louth Town Hall is owned and run by us and is guaranteed to be here for the community as long as we own and run it.”
The Town Hall left East Lindsey District Council’s hands in 2012 when they sold the building as a community asset.
Since then, the Town Hall team has grown the community use of the building significantly with more and more groups now regularly using the venue. Activities now range from a day centre for those with additional needs, to exercise groups for all ages.
Two local choirs, a bridge club, the Fuchsia Society and Clubbercise now have the Town Hall as their home.
In the past year, Andy and his team have also brought world-famous acts such as Heather Small and the Syd Lawrence Orchestra to Louth, and an even more exciting programme is being planned for 2017.
A new scheme is being launched today (October 5) which will allow businesses and individuals to do their bit to help keep the Town Hall open for the benefit of the community.
Andy said: “Wednesday October 5 sees the launch of our ‘Friends of Louth Town Hall’ initiative which provides local businesses and individuals with the opportunity to sponsor the building, in whole, part tor even by individual brick.
“This sponsorship can be for as little £10 a year for sponsoring a brick, through to £6000 a year for a business to become the named sponsor of the ballroom.
“In return for this, individual sponsors will receive discounts on tickets and hire rates, whilst business sponsors will receive hospitality packages as well as publicity through our website, all our events, and throughout the building.”
• To find out more about becoming a ‘Friend of Louth Town Hall’, contact Andy Howlett on 07860402967 or firstname.lastname@example.org.