Published: 18/12/2017 12:34 - Updated: 18/12/2017 12:38

Help us save Elgin Town Hall

Elgin Town Hall is the venueSUPPORTERS of Elgin Town Hall are being invited to a meeting next month to guard against the possibility of its closure.

As part of its ongoing cutbacks, Moray Council is looking to either shut the venue or give it away under a Community Asset Transfer.

In response, the Elgin-based group Lantern of the North (LOTN) is looking for a "community-led solution" to protect the town hall.

Mark Conti, who is a director of LOTN and also a member of popular local band Edgar Road, said news that the town hall may close had been met with shock and anger throughout Moray.

He added: "The town hall is an iconic venue in Elgin which, despite its flaws, provides a hugely valuable service for the performing community.

"Having held events there we know there is huge potential to increase income and reduce costs, but it is obvious that the council is currently unable to dedicate the resources to look at this properly.

"It is our belief that if we can bring the performing community together, not just from Elgin but the whole of Moray, we can develop a plan that could bring the hall into community ownership and ensure it is sustainable not just for now but for many years into the future."

LOTN is planning on holding its meeting midway through January in order to galvanise support.

Fellow LOTN director Barry Jarvis said: "It would be easy to be up in arms and take to the streets raising petitions and demanding the council does something about this, but we have decided instead to look at this as an opportunity.

"This opportunity, if taken, could allow the town hall to be the central venue for arts and community life in Moray.

"It would be in the hands of a community that values its purpose and has the drive to see its potential realised.

"It is clear that if we do not step up and offer an alternative the council will simply shut the door and the building left to rot like Grant Lodge.

"Now is the time for communities to show solidarity and come together to create a new vision for the town hall."

The January meeting will be open to all those who are interested in the future of the town hall and want to be involved in finding solutions to the problem.

The LOTN is particularly keen to welcome representatives from groups who currently use the town hall and have ideas about how it can be ran differently from at present.

Meet at the Inkwell, Francis Place, Elgin at 7pm on Tuesday, January 16.

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