Crunch talks over new hall

editorial image

CRUNCH talks are to be held tomorrow night in an effort to kick-start work on Garstang’s stalled £600,000 parish/community hall project.

The authorities at St Thomas’s Church need to sell the old parish hall to help pay for the replacement building, under construction behind the vicarage, Church Street.

Rumours that work on the new hall had halted were denied by churchwarden Doug Willoughby, but he did admit there had been a recent “haitus”, and that work would be starting again soon.

The Courier has been told by several church members that work halted several weeks ago, but Mr Willoughby said they were just rumours.

Church authorities have been under increasing pressure to explain to parishioners, as well as community organisations, about delays in selling off the old hall, and the planned opening date of the new hall.

One church insider told The Courier: “A few months ago they were saying it would be September by the time the new hall would open. That is now looking increasingly unlikely.”

As reported in the Courier in January, the church had hoped the new hall, which will be used by church and community organisations, would have opened this spring.

But the breakdown in negotiations between Lancaster-based pub firm Mitchells (which owns the neighbouring Th’owd Tithebarn), and the church, over the possible sale of the old hall to the pub chain has resulted in headaches for church authorities, leaving them, it is understood, with a