Marsden’s popular community-run venue opened its doors once more on Monday 17th May, as government coronavirus restrictions lifted, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of local people.
The historic building, home to classes, events, live music, theatre, weddings and parties, is in better shape than ever before as it has been deep cleaned and refurbished, thanks to successful grant fundraising by local volunteers.
Marsden Mechanics is run by the community for the community by local volunteers coming together as registered charity, Marsden Community Trust.
Martin Collett chair of the Marsden Mechanics building management group for Marsden Community Trust said
“We’ve been really looking forward to welcoming everyone back to the building. Staff and volunteers from the Trust have been working hard to clean and redecorate throughout, refurbish the heating, lift and accessible toilets, add new screens, lighting, signs and safety stations and have raised grant funding for new activities in the centre. We are delighted with how everything is looking and would like to extend our thanks to everyone involved.”
A video has been produced by Mechanics tenants Mikron Theatre to showcase the refurbishments and improvements to the building.
The venue has also been a base for Marsden Help which has brought assistance to individuals and families in need throughout the pandemic.
Art classes, yoga, meditation, sewing and taekwondo classes have all restarted. Meeting rooms can be hired for small events. Larger events will commence when it is safe to do so. All users of the building will be asked to sign in and observe safe coronavirus protocols.
Marsden Library is open for new hours on Wednesdays 1 – 6pm and Saturdays 10 – 1pm. Every Friday computer use can be booked in advance 1 – 5pm.
Marsden Community Trust have secured a grant from the One Community Thornton Family Fund to establish a set of new groups, a weekly Stay and Play Group for pre-school children and families, a monthly Memory Café for people with dementia and their carers and activities for active older people.
The Trust is also planning a series of music and entertainment events and are working with tenants Marsden Jazz Festival to cautiously plan activities as part of the annual festival in the autumn.
The venue is taking bookings for meetings, conferences, weddings and parties in the year ahead and beyond.
Marsden Community Trust was established in 2015 and has brought new life to the historic building and is keeping it in good shape for the future. The Trust is keen to welcome all sections of the community to the building and are always looking for new volunteers to get involved and for young people to have their say on what should happen with the building.
Marsden Community Trust Chair Tom Lonsdale said
“Community ownership brings us full circle, back to the origins in the 19th century. The Mechanics Institution was a voluntary organisation that drew its members from the village population during the heyday of the textile industry and established a library and social gathering space that endure to this day. How fitting it is that our post-Covid reopening co-incides with the 200th anniversary of the Mechanics Institute movement, which started in Edinburgh and spread around the world: Marsden Mechanics fulfils a community hub role probably closer to that envisaged by those early pioneers than any other Institute still standing today.”
Thanks to our funders: The government via the National Lottery Community Fund – Coronavirus Community Support Fund and the Power to Change Fund and to Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council via Ward funding.
For enquiries about the Centre please visit the website www.marsdenmechanics.co.uk
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