THE team behind a multi-million pound project to transform Wakefield’s dilapidated Unity Hall to a new music and arts venue is urging people to snap up the final remaining shares.
The Grade II listed 19th century building, which has stood empty for 25 years, is being restored by Unity House (Wakefield) Limited - a co-operative which has raised £4m by issuing shares to local businesses, community organisations and music fans.
More than 200 people have invested in the community share scheme, but the group still needs to raise £100,000 to buy audio and visual equipment.
Building work is due to start this week with the hall’s re-opening scheduled for September.
The scheme is set to create 100 new jobs.
The Grade-II listed building, which was was established as the Wakefield Co-operative headquarters in 1867, went on to host to silent movies, wrestling and ballroom dancing before staging rock concerts in the 1980s.
Chris Hill, director of Unity House (Wakefield) Ltd, said: “We’re now at a very exciting time and on track for our grand opening in September.”
“There’s £100,000 in share capital to ensure we complete the project, so we’re urging everyone across Yorkshire to be part of this success story and help create a lasting cultural legacy for Yorkshire.”
Mr Hill said anyone who chooses to buy shares will be paid interest of four per cent from the time of opening, with the hope to increase it to six per cent in three years The maximum investment is £20,000 and the minimum is £200.
Simon Wallis, director of art gallery Hepworth Wakefieldaid: “It’s an invaluable asset that will contribute to Wakefield as a place that not only showcases the finest art, but creates its own vibrant, cultural scene at a grass roots level.”