Leeds & West Yorkshire

Work starts on Sowerby Bridge community arts centre

Disused swimming pool
Image caption The disused swimming pool will be transformed into a 250-seat theatre, organisers hope

Clearance work has started on an arts centre in a former fire station and swimming pool transferred to the community by the local council.

The Fire and Water project aims to covert the disused buildings in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, with help from the local community.

Plans include a 250-seat theatre in the pool area and a rehearsal space.

The group behind the development is applying for funding to complete the £2.5m project.

Parts of the building have been unused for five years and volunteers are clearing the interior before building work can commence.

Emma Woods-Bolger, one of the project's organisers, said community spirit was high in the town.

"I think people in Sowerby Bridge want to see these buildings brought back to life," she said.

"At least 20 people were on site this morning and lots more people signed up."

If funding is secured, the centre is scheduled to be fully open in five years' time.

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