An at risk church hall has been made an ‘asset of community value’, meaning residents are now able to raise funds and bid for it should it go up for sale.
Dore Church Hall, on Townhead Road, is currently under threat of sale after the Parish Church Council revealed it no longer have the funds to sustain it.
At a packed out meeting, which more than two hundred residents attended, the PCC said it was considering selling the space for around £750,000.
The community were deeply concerned about losing the site and suggested raising funds themselves to keep it running.
Councillor Joe Otten, representative for Dore and Totley, said: “There are lots of people who are willing to help keep it in the community’s hands. The community could raise it if we could get people together, Dore is a very affluent area, and it would take a lot of pressure off the church.
“It was built based on community fundraising in the 1930s and the space happened to suit a church so they donated it to them in the 1960s. So the idea that the church who took it from the community would now sell it off to fund church activities would massively annoy people.”
He added it was a good step forwards to have the site protected as an asset of community value but said the community are still awaiting a response from the PCC about discussing lease purchase or rent.
The hall is currently used for a wide range of activities and meetings including Scouts, Girl Guides, ballet and choir groups.
Coun Otten said: “If the hall is sold for housing or something else it would be a huge loss, there would really be anywhere else for these groups to go. Dore has many active groups and we need to support them.”
Anita Campbell, of the Christ Church Parochial Church Council, said: “The church does not receive sufficient funding to run its two buildings – this church building, which is Grade two listed, and the church hall. The church is an important building in the centre of the village, as a centre for worship and is important to members of the community who turn to it for significant events in their lives. It is funded by the people who attend.
“Christ Church is facing a considerable reduction in the charitable giving it receives and is finding it difficult to continue supporting and subsidising the church hall building.”
As an asset of community value residents will be given a six months notice before the site goes up for sale, allowing them time to gather money for a bid. Previously the site could be sold without notice.