Last night (Monday 9th January 2012) following a meeting of Calderdale MBC Cabinet the decision was taken to transfer the Hebden Bridge Picture House to Hebden Royd Town Council on a 125 year lease. Subject to the completion of all required documentation and legal agreements this transfer should be in place by the 1st April 2012.
Councillor Susan Press, Chair of the Picture House Committee, who attended Monday night's Cabinet which agreed the move, said:" I 'm delighted that Calderdale has agreed to transfer the Picture House to the Town Council.
This decision reflects the hard work put in by Town Councils Officers over the past 12 months and also the determination by Town Councillors who have driven this initiative to ensure that we guarantee the Picture House continues to be at the heart of our community for future generations. "
News of the green light for the project is a major boost for officers, councillors and staff at the Picture House - whose jobs are now guaranteed under the terms of the deal. It also backs the Picture House users and residents of Hebden Royd who overwhelmingly backed the measure in a widespread Hebden Royd Town Council Consultation by an 84 per cent margin.
Jason Boom Clerk to Hebden Royd Town Council said 'This really is good news I believe for the Picture House and will allow Hebden Royd Town Council to give the Picture House and its users a secure future with the digitalisation of the cinema, improved facilities within and local people having a real say in the Picture House. The key principles adopted from the outset will be delivered and in addition we can be secure in the knowledge that lemon drizzle cake and mugs of Fairtrade Coffee will be on offer for many years to come.'
The Hebden Bridge Picture House was handed over to Calderdale MBC by the then Hebden Royd Urban District Council as a result of local government re-organisation in 1974 and It is one of only three municipally-run cinemas in the country.