Asset Transfer of the Marsden Mechanics Building in the Village Centre.

“There is a once in a generation opportunity for the village to take full possession of what public subscription created 150 years ago. Kirkless Council say they can no longer afford to keep the Mechanics on as a public service but have offered to assist the Marsden community in taking over full ownership of the building. A grant has been sought to commission a pre-feasibility study to explore the implications: THE FUTURE IN OUR HANDS!

The Current Situation
Marsden Mechanics is a Grade II listed building, which was saved from dereliction and demolition by the people of Marsden after a long campaign. The renovated building was reopened in 1992.
The Mechanics is owned by Kirklees Council, but managed by the voluntary Marsden Mechanics Management Association on behalf of the community. The main hall, meeting room and foyer are used for all kinds of events, performances, classes and
meetings. The Mechanics is a licensed wedding venue and a popular place to hold a party. It also houses Marsden’s library and the office of the Marsden based Mikron Theatre Company.

The Threat
Kirklees Council is disposing of large parts of its property portfolio, which it can no longer afford to run and maintain. Kirklees has told the Management Association that unless the community can take over the Mechanics, it will be closed and mothballed or sold. The Council would prefer that the community takes over ownership of the building by a process known as Asset Transfer. If we don’t take ownership, the village risks losing its only community meeting place that is free from religious or political alignment, its library and the building itself, Marsden’s iconic architectural landmark.

The Opportunity
The community of Marsden, which built the Mechanics by subscription 150 years ago, has the opportunity to own the building once again. It needs modernising and, if we take ownership, there is the possibility of altering and extending the building, using adjacent land, to purpose-build more useable and flexible spaces that can generate extra income and help secure the Mechanics’ future.

Next Steps
First, we need to decide whether, as a community, we want to take on the Mechanics with its associated risks and responsibilities. If we do, we need to create a new, incorporated, body which can own, manage and sustain the Mechanics. We need to decide what the Mechanics should look like in the twenty-first century. How could we remodel its spaces to fulfil our needs? Who might occupy it? What services might be run from the building? How can we secure its financial future? Asset Transfer will be a lot of work. We will need a team of enthusiastic, creative and committed people to see the process through. Can you help us? If you can, please come along to our AGM at 7.30pm on 17 December or contact us at info@marsdenmechanics.co.uk”

Information as .PDF –  Asset Transfer Leaflet (both sides)

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