Hundreds turn out to save a Sheffield church hall

Dore Church Hall
Dore Church Hall

More than 200 people turned out to a Sheffield village hall to stop it from being sold to developers.

The church hall, on Townhead Road in Dore, is currently owned by the Parish Church Council who are considering selling it for around £750,000, saying it has become too costly to keep up.

Councillor Joe Otten

Councillor Joe Otten

They held a public meeting to update the community on the situation but did not allow any questions.

Councillor Martin Smith, representative for Dore and Totley ward, took a head count and said there were about 230 people, with more queuing outside.   

Coun Joe Otten, representative for Dore and Totley ward, 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.”

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.”

Coun Otten added people had been complaining about the state of the building for a while but under the community’s control could be thriving again.

He said: “If you look at the situation with Totley library - that was at risk but was saved by the community and now it’s better than it ever was.”

The PCC said they would take away comments from the meeting and come up with a plan in the near future.

In the meantime, some members of the community are planning to make it an asset of community value. This would give them six months notice before it is sold to developers - allowing time to raise money and bid for the hall.