THE civic hall in Crosby has been thrown a lifeline after a group of local arts enthusiasts were handed the keys to the iconic venue.
The volunteer group, calling themselves Crosby Cultural Quarter, will run the struggling theatre under a four-month pilot scheme monitored by Sefton Council.
If the scheme proves workable, the council is willing to look at striking a longer-term deal, but, if it proves unsuccessful, officers have recommended that the building be closed.
Formed by arts professionals from across the borough, Crosby Cultural Quarter is now urging supporters of the arts to get behind the civic hall or risk losing it for good.
One of the founders of the company, Debby Rigby, who is headteacher at Streatham House School, said that with the right team, the venue could become an artistic hub of activity for the community.
Ms Rigby said: “We already have requests for bookings well into the summer, and are delighted to have been able to honour regular bookings such as the Crosby Festival.”
Ms Rigby, who is well known locally for her sell-out productions at the civic hall, which have included up to 180 children in a single show, is also keen to encourage families to return to the under-threat venue.
“We are looking forward to hosting a variety of events, which vary from a battle of the bands, folk festival, and a craft fair this Sunday to a family night of entertainment on Saturday, February 9.
“We hope to make this a regular feature at the civic hall, as currently, there is nowhere for parents and children to gather together for a night of family entertainment.”
Development director for Streatham House School, TV presenter Debi Jones, is also involved with the new venture and is equally optimistic about the venue’s chances of survival, adding: “We are lucky to be part of a team of dedicated professionals, who we feel can make this happen.
“Our team provides all the skills required to make this venture a success and if goes well, we will be applying for charitable status.”
The group are currently planning a refurbishment of the hall and have called on local companies to help them out.
Ms Jones said: “We are looking for a carpet cleaning company and someone to deep clean the kitchen and equipment, as well as a painter.”
To help Crosby Cultural Quarter, please contact them on 0151 558 0401.