Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Campaign takes positive step to safeguard Louth landmark

A campaign to safeguard the future of the much-loved Louth landmark has received a promising victory under the guidance of law firm Wilkin Chapman.

The firm, which has an office at Louth’s Oxley House, is supporting the ‘Save Louth Legion’ movement and has helped the leaders of the campaign to successfully prevent its sale on the open market for the next six months.

With a moratorium granted by East Lindsey District Council, the drive to restore the now-derelict Louth British Legion Hall as a community hub and social space can move forward.

Currently disused, the building had been facing sale on the open market after negotiations with the Royal British Legion failed. However, locals now have a vital chance to save the once thriving social hub – if they can raise sufficient funds in time.

Local architectural designer James Irvine, leader of the Save Louth Legion campaign, said: “Louth has lost so many social hubs over the years, so something must be done to preserve Louth Legion Hall for future generations – especially as the only truly accessible mid-sized music venue in Louth

“We must salvage Louth’s lost community spaces and the ‘Save Louth Legion’ campaign is essential for achieving this. While the news that our appeal has been granted is great news, it is just the beginning of our fight to save the venue.

“I grew up in Louth and I, like many other residents, have many wonderful memories of time spent at the Louth British Legion Hall. From birthday parties, wedding receptions, band night jam sessions, craft fairs and blood donations, the hall has been a vital, flexible social hub that gives so much back to the community – we can’t let it be lost. ”

With the firm’s help and pro bono legal support, Mr Irvine has successfully applied to register the hall as an asset of community value, which grants a six-month moratorium. During this time, the building cannot legally be sold.

Although the Royal British Legion is able to list the building for sale on the open market, it must wait six months to sell – giving the Save Louth Legion campaigners time to raise the funds needed and prepare their bid to purchase the building themselves on behalf of the local community.

“We’re thrilled that our appeal has been successful,” added James Irvine. “This gives us a fighting chance to save the building by raising funds and applying for grants through the Community Ownership Fund.

Corporate & commercial solicitor at Wilkin Chapman, Kelsey Jerrard, said: “We’re delighted that the application has been successful in the important community campaign to save this local landmark. The team at Wilkin Chapman has reviewed the application drafted by James, and advised on the process of setting up a Charitable Incorporated Organisation  to assist with how the Hall will be run if successfully acquired by James.

“With this milestone achieved, we’re especially hopeful for the future of the much-loved community hub.”

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