We launched a major fundraising scheme to bring our historic ballroom back into use, with a "sell-out event" on Saturday night.
The evening celebration, hosted in the ballroom itself, kicked off a two-month campaign to raise £250,000 from the community to fund a series of essential refurbishment works which will transform the space so it can host events accommodating up to 400 people.
Almost 120 people attended to find out more about how the organisation is using community shares to raise the investment needed. This scheme allows the public to become members and co-owners of the Hall through an investment in the democratically-run organisation. It will also help secure further funding through a commitment from the charitable fund Power to Change to match the first £100,000 raised by the community.
Famed Manchester journalist and tour guide Jonathan Schofield headed up the bill of speakers on the night, telling stories of Stretford, John Rylands, Enriqueta Rylands and spiced it up with fact, daft stories, scandal and a bit of humour.
Alongside Jonathan, Stephen McCusker from the architectural practice Loop Systems which is working on the refurbishment, described the vision for the ballroom itself and Ged Devlin from Power to Change closed the speeches by confirming the funder’s commitment to matching every pound invested by the community up to £100,000.
Following the speakers, a more party-like atmosphere took shape to mark Friends of Stretford Public Hall’s second anniversary since bringing the Hall into community ownership. To mark this milestone, there was a cocktail bar hosted by Cocktail Stars alongside music from local DJ, Dr Sid.
The share offer itself is now live with anyone able to invest from a minimum investment of £100. People can buy shares here