Hebden Bridge squatters show no signs of leaving as they appeal for help staying through colder weather

The squatters occupying a former greengrocers in Hebden Bridge have appealed for help so they can stay as the weather gets colder.

The group – who call themselves Hebden Bridge Disinfo Squat – have been in the building on Bridge Gate since July and are showing no signs of leaving. They have asked for donations including of warm clothing and heaters.

In a post on social media, they said: “We’re so grateful for the support that the community has shown us so far. As it gets colder, there are some things we need for this building to keep running this space. We also want to keep up our free shop which is run on your donations.”

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What was William Holt Greengrocers, at 6 Bridge Gate, has been opened up by the group, who claim to have started an "autonomous community squat". They have been holding open mic nights and film screenings, as well as offering vegan snacks. Last week they held a celebration for The Queen, following her death.

Squatters in the old William Holt greengrocers building, Hebden Bridge.Squatters in the old William Holt greengrocers building, Hebden Bridge.
Squatters in the old William Holt greengrocers building, Hebden Bridge.

The group said the occupation could spread beyond the former greengrocers. Soon after moving in, they said: "Hebden Disinfo Squat is an autonomous community space complete with a library, free zines, and vegan refreshments. We have a range of free events planned, from film screenings to live music and poetry. Hebden Bridge has a rich history of squatting, which has been a foundation of the community.

"We want to revive and continue this tradition, and we are committed to continuing this project beyond this building. This is a legal occupation and we are well within our rights, as anybody is, to occupy a disused commercial building and turn it into something useful.

"In a world where everything has a price and gentrification ravages our communities, we want to create a space that is as free and as accessible as possible, for as long as possible.”

The building is owned by Royds Catering Services.

Squatters in the old William Holt greengrocers building, Hebden Bridge.Squatters in the old William Holt greengrocers building, Hebden Bridge.
Squatters in the old William Holt greengrocers building, Hebden Bridge.
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According to the Government website: "Simply being on another person’s non-residential property without their permission is not usually a crime. The police can take action if squatters commit other crimes when entering or staying in a property."