End of an era for Biggleswade hall

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A HALL that has been home to community groups for the last 12 years is to close down.

Millennium House in Biggleswade – which has catered for organisations like the Biggleswade History Society and the Royal Naval Association – will shut at the start of June.

The Biggleswade and District United Services Association, which has owned the Shortmead Street building since 2000, has taken the decision due to an ongoing lack of funds.

Bar and bookings manager Pat Desborough said: “We have made the reluctant decision to close down as it is just not financially feasible for us to continue unfortunately.

“We have had quite a lot of weddings, birthdays and other special occasions at Millennium House over the years but in the last 18 months bookings have dried up and bar takings are down too.”

Maintaining the building has also proved expensive over time, Pat said.

She added: “Some time ago we discovered that there was asbestos in the building, which of course we had to remove as soon as possible and that cost us a lot of money.

“There is also ongoing maintenance which needs to take place.

“One of the windows needs replacing and as they are so large that would be very expensive too.”

It was with a heavy heart that the committee made the decision.

Pat said: “Quite a few community organisations have used the building and we also have a bar here so people have been able to come in and just have a drink if they have wanted to.

“The recession has certainly played a part but I think the fact that we are a little out of town has been an issue as well as far as bookings are concerned.”

The actual date that the venue will be closing on is to be confirmed.

Members of the committee want to allow the different organisations as much time as possible to move any items they are storing there and to make alternative arrangements if necessary.

Pat said: “We are looking at early June but some of the groups have been using some of the storage space so they will need to find a new home for their items.

“I can also refund anyone who has already paid their membership fees for this year.”

For a refund contact Pat on 07986 387503.