Fear over future of community groups after council takes over

Concerned: Trev Wainwright, Alex Kear, Mia and Sophia Free and Tina Dransfield at The Hut, Airedale.
Concerned: Trev Wainwright, Alex Kear, Mia and Sophia Free and Tina Dransfield at The Hut, Airedale.

Community groups are concerned for their future after a charity announced they were to transfer control of a youth centre to the council.

The Hut, in Airedale, opened in 2012, a £5m complex designed to function as a community centre and youth group.

But Chrysalis Youth and Community Project, the charity who manage The Hut, have announced their intention to withdraw from the centre next month, saying that it is no longer a financially viable option.

The Hut will be transferred to the control of Wakefield Council on Friday, March 1.

Several of the groups who use the hall have voiced their concerns about their use of the hall, saying they have received no reassurance that they will be able to continue using the centre.

Trevor Wainwright is a host on 5 Towns Radio, a community radio station based at The Hut who also provide entertainment for the local community.

The group are worried that their opportunities may be limited under new management.

He said: “We give people opportunities behind the scenes or behind the mic.

“If we’re not allowed to do it, 5 Towns Radio and some of our weekend projects will close.”

Beate Wagner, Wakefield Council’s corporate director for children and young people, said: “The Hut provides an important, vibrant and modern hub in the community and we can assure residents that, not only will this continue, but we plan to build on and strengthen the services offered.

“We will be holding meetings with our residents who use the centre to see what additional opportunities we can provide to young people, their families and local communities.”