Fury over wrecked floors

Damage to the interior of Formby Hall, Atherton
Damage to the interior of Formby Hall, Atherton

SHOCKING new pictures showing the state of a much-loved community venue have caused outrage after being posted online.

Residents in Atherton raised a storm of protest after images of the town’s Formby Hall showed huge bulges in the floor, destroying some of the parquet tiles.

The pictures were taken by members of a community group who gained access to the Alder Street hall to remove some drama equipment and were stunned by what they found.

John Smith wrote on the Atherton Residents’ Association Facebook page: “OK so today we got to access Formby Hall and this is the state of OUR beloved hall.

“The floor is raised as high as my knees and now the main hall floor is raising and there is a puddle on the stage.”

Residents have responded angrily, accusing the hall’s owners and managers of neglecting the venue which was bought from Rose Leisure by the Formby Hall Investments (FHI) group.

FHI bought the hall with the intention of bulldozing it to make way for a nursing home and supported living flats but an application to flatten the venue has been refused by Wigan Council.

Susan Corlett wrote on Facebook: “Disgusting that people can let it get like this, they Don’t care anymore.”

Katherine Woods said: “It is disgraceful...Shame on those who have allowed it to happen.”

Atherton Residents’ Association chair Stuart Gerrard wrote on the group’s Facebook page: “Today, I think we have seen proof in all its unadulterated glory just what intentions Rose Leisure had for the Formby Hall.”

Atherton Residents’ Association has posted a link to a petition at online campaigning site 38 Degrees asking for Formby Hall to be saved for community use.

It is currently unclear exactly how the floors have been so severely wrecked but several residents have suggested on social media the photos look like the building has been water damaged.

FHI was approached for comment but had not responded as we went to

press.