Investors buy into Wakefield’s Unity Hall

Chris Hill from Shine who are looking to take over Unity House
Chris Hill from Shine who are looking to take over Unity House

DOZENS of investors have bought shares in a project to transform a Wakefield’s disused Unity Hall into a community arts venue.

Community co-operative Unity Hall Wakefield Ltd launched a share issue to kick-start the regeneration of the historic building on Westgate on Tuesday.

Around 35 people signed up to buy shares at a launch event at the Orangery in Wakefield.

And the group has also announced that a bid for European funding has progressed to the next stage.

Plans have been drawn up plans for a 650-seater venue, 80-seater function room, 12,000 sq ft of office space and a 3,500 sq ft meeting space at the building.

The Unity Hall group is working with regeneration organisation Shine to secure £4m in total to fund the project.

Chris Hill, Shine’s development director, said: “We have now got 40 investors signed up. We have been told our bid for European funding is eligible, which is a huge relief for us. This means that the project is going ahead.”

The share issue will raise £200,000 to pay for development work to get the project up and running.

Individuals and organisations can buy up to £20,000 in shares, with a minimum of 200 shares for £200.

A dividend of around six per cent per annum is planned after three years of trading and members will also be celebrated in a piece of public art within the building. Other benefits include priority booking and event information.

Tours of the building are also being held for potential investors, starting tomorrow at 11am.

For more information, telephone Mr Hill on 0113 388 0000 or log on to www.unity