Plans to save Esh Winning Memorial Hall from demolition
A DILAPIDATED building steeped in mining history could be saved from demolition at the eleventh hour.
For more than three decades, the Memorial Hall in Esh Winning, County Durham, has stood vacant, falling into such a state of disrepair that it was deemed to be in need of demolition.
But a new owner has come forward with what some see as a “last hope” plan to save the structure and its history.
Developers Brett Brothers Developments are hoping to restore the exterior and interior of the hall to create 20 flats for the elderly while building a new entrance hall and car park.
The plans, which will be discussed by planners tomorrow, have received a cautious welcome from historic building enthusiasts.
Thompson Minnis, 72, who lives in the village, said: “What has happened to the memorial hall is a crying shame.
“I’m pleased to see it could be used again and to hear they will keep the original facade. It used to house so many things for the community but when the cinema closed that was it and it was left to go to rack and ruin.”
Built in 1923, the hall was once the heart of the mining community, providing families with a concert hall, swimming bath, community rooms and library.
But since the 1970s, it has been neglected and is now a run-down shadow of its former self after being targeted by vandals and suffering from a lack of maintenance.