Demo against hall bulldozing to take place

Exterior of Formby Hall, Alder Street, Atherton
Exterior of Formby Hall, Alder Street, Atherton

Angry residents opposed to the demolition of a much-loved community hub are mounting one last desperate protest today.

Campaigners will gather outside Formby Hall in Atherton to listen to speeches and carry placards in opposition to its impending bulldozing.

The protest is being arranged by members of Atherton Residents’ Association under the banner of the Facebook group Residents Stand Against Wigan Council (RSAWC).

The association played a major role in a public inquiry which failed to halt the demolition but says it still has serious questions over how the popular community hub came to be sold.

Paddy McCrory, who is organising the protest, said: “There was no need for it to be sold and no reason to knock it down, so this is a last hurrah.

“I’m not happy with this and neither are the people of Atherton. It was given to the people, it wasn’t the council’s to sell off. We had a petition to keep it open with 5,000 signatures on it, I don’t know how they can just ignore that.

“This doesn’t look good for the council and I can’t understand how this has been allowed to happen.”

The building was sold to 8th Wonder but last year was bought by an investment group which wants to put a nursing home and independent living flats on site.

The protest at the hall is today from 12.30pm until 3pm. For more information visit www.facebook.com/events/1175997212484536/ or www.facebook.com/RSAWC/