A DANCE venue regarded as the best in the North has been saved from closure by a team of determined locals.
The Engine Shed, in the heart of Wetherby, closed a year ago much to the disappointment of its regulars – many of whom travelled from as far afield as Nottingham and Newcastle to dance there.
Commercial developers wanted to turn the Grade II listed building into offices or even a casino, but two couples were determined to restore the venue to its former glory.
Ricky Barton now runs the much-loved dance hub alongside wife Sally, her sister Kay Hogg and her husband Alex.
The sisters are known in Wetherby for running dance school Danceology.
Ricky, 28, said: “Ultimately we felt that it was such an under-used community venue that it would be an absolute travesty not to try to keep it within the community and open it up to the community.
”It’s a unique venue for all sorts of different things.”
The Grade II listed building was converted years ago from an old railway goods shed into a venue dedicated to dance, holding more than 450 people.
Boasting two bars, two dance floors and a hydraulic stage, it has been voted the best salsa venue outside London.
The new management team is keen to maintain its popularity among dancers, with regular classes in salsa, zumba and jive.
But it also wants locals to start using it as a community amenity, for events as varied as comedy nights, children’s parties, wedding receptions and charity fundraisers.
Company director and dad-of-two Ricky said: “We are trying to get new people through the door.”
He added: “People are embarrassed that they’ve not been here before and they are looking forward to events where they can come and make use of this beautiful venue.”
The re-launch party is on November 10, with entertainment from party band The Bogus Brothers. Tickets are £10. Ring 01937 588884 or go to