A popular community space in Louth has been rejuvenated after a new group of trustees took it over - just months after it was saved from demolition.
Ayscough Hall, in Lee Street, was at risk of being flattened to make way for four new homes last year, after the Trust that ran the facility at the time deemed it to be ‘no longer viable’ due to a drop in income and an increase in maintenance costs over recent years.
Following objections from hall users, councillors, and neighbouring residents, East Lindsey District Council’s planning committee refused the application last April.
Now a new group of seven volunteer trustees - the ‘Ayscough Hall Trust’ - has been brought in, and bookings have already started to increase once again.
Previous chairman Peter Mountain has remained in his position, alongside new treasurer Nicky Clarkson and trustees Peter Fox, Ron Thomas, John Clarkson, Alan Chantry, Jacob Tomlinson.
Nicky Clarkson told the Leader: “Previously, the Hall had started to become tatty and in need of repair.
“Due to this, and rumours of closure, bookings started to drop, to the point where the Hall’s outgoings had become larger than its incomings.
“I was already using the Hall for teaching tai chi. We all loved the Hall, but had to have contingency plans.”
Looking ahead to the future, Nicky said: “We are feeling optimistic, as we have an excellent group of volunteers and there has been a huge amount of repairs and decorations already.
“We would like to thank Interskill, who helped with the refurbishment outside.
“Groups such as pilates, tai chi, WI’s The Rolling Scones, and Gail Brocklesby’s dance school have all increased their hours at Ayscough Hall.”
Gail Brocklesby recently handed a £122 cheque, raised through a Christmas raffle, to the Ayscough Hall trustees.
This will go towards the gradual renovation of the Hall, including a new boiler, toilet suite and lighting upgrade.
Visit www.ayscoughhall.org.uk, call 07808 535629 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a booking.