LONGHOUGHTON village organisations are threatened with termination because they have lost their present base.
At an open meeting to discuss the village hall’s future last week, it was revealed that lack of interest in the hall and a sudden 600 per cent rent increase have proved the final nail in the historical hall’s coffin.
Mr Norman Padley, a Longhoughton parish councillor, who took over chairmanship of the Village Hall Committee six months ago in an attempt to save it, said: “The Alnwick Castle Estates Office has tried to hold back a rent increase for as long as they could, but it has now had to go up.
“The increase of £50 to £300, plus the heating and lighting bills means we can no longer financially keep the hall afloat.
“It’s no longer viable for the amount it’s used. In another two years, the rent would probably go up by a further £200.”
Some at the meeting felt bitter at the closure and blamed the setting-up of the RAF Community Centre as a main contributor towards the hall’s death.
William Foreman, a former chairman of the hall committee, said: “When the community centre was built, the CO of RAF Boulmer told me it would be a joint venture between the village and themselves. But it has not proved so, the community centre has ruined the village hall.”
Mr Tony MacDonald, also a previous chairman of the hall committee, added: “I served on this committee 13 years ago when we were running bingo. The CO at Boulmer told me the community centre was starting bingo also, but that if it interfered they would stop it. It did interfere, we told them so and it never stopped.”