CHRISTCHURCH council is being asked to approve a recommendation to allow a residents’ group to run Druitt Hall.

Members of the council’s resource committee are being asked to approve a three-year lease for Druitt Hall to be offered to Christchurch Citizens’ Association (CCA).

Cllr Bernie Davis, portfolio holder for community at Christchurch council, said he is pleased the group has made the approach to operate the hall.

“We have always said that we would be happy for a responsible organisation to manage the hall if they believe that they can make a go of it,” he added.

“CCA have told us that they believe they can increase the number of community groups wishing to book the hall. Provided the resource committee agrees to the recommendation, we hope that the CCA will be able to make a success of operating this facility.”

This will be the second lease offered for the hall after Druitt Hall Association Limited (DHAL) decided not to take up the offer in September 2013.

Elliot Marx, one of DHAL’s directors, has been campaigning to save the hall since 2011 and said the council's limit of a three year lease with no prospect of continuity stopped the project in its tracks. She added: “I’m very pleased to hear that the council may grant the CCA a lease to run the current Druitt Hall for three years and wish the project every success.

“This will give current and prospective groups some security. We are certain the facility is needed and that its location will help the High Street, the town centre and most of all Christchurch residents and community groups which desperately need affordable meeting space.”

CCA chairman Nigel Cook said: “CCA are grateful to everyone who has contributed so much effort in the hope of securing Druitt Hall’s future for the next three years.”

The resources committee meeting, being held tomorrow, will see members being asked to agree to the three-year lease as well as a sub-lease to allow refurbishment work.