First business takes space in redeveloped town hall

THE first of the 30 creative businesses to be housed in the Hebden Bridge Town Hall development has been confirmed.

The North of Watford Actors' Agency has agreed to take one of the enterprise units in the new development, once building work is completed early next year.

The news comes in advance of tonight's meeting in Hebden Bridge Town Hall, when local enterprises in the creative and digital sectors are being invited to learn more about the project.

Peter Hirst, chairman of Hebden Bridge Community Association, said: "We're delighted to have North of Watford committing to the new Town Hall development in this way. Their members share our vision both for the overall plans for the Town Hall and specifically for the new Creative Quarter enterprise space.

"They're a successful organisation and, we're sure, will bring a lot of vibrancy and creativity to the building.''

North of Watford Actors' Agency is one of the longest established cooperative agencies in the country, established in 1984 by a group of actors based in the north of England who wanted to work together to manage and develop their careers.

Since then the agency has provided actors for major roles in both live theatre and in television.

Lisa Allen, North of Watford's marketing manager, said: "We are so excited about our future move to the town hall.

"We would like to play a more active role within the community and this move puts us at the heart of it. Hebden Bridge will always be our home. This move will secure North of Watford's role for the next 25 years"

The detailed design for the extension to Hebden Bridge Town Hall was approved last October by Calderdale's planners and building work is expected to begin at the start of April.

"Once completed, the building will offer a mix of both community and enterprise facilities, including a new hall as well as rehearsal facilities for the local light opera and youth theatre societies. North of Watford are the first business to reserve an enterprise unit, and have booked a second-floor room overlooking the River Hebden." Mr Hirst added: "We're already talking to a number of other existing and potential small businesses who are interested in taking space.''