COUNCIL bosses have promised to meet with Stourbridge Town Hall users this month to discuss the future running of the popular venue.

Dudley Council has been in talks for around six months with bosses at King Edward VI College regarding the possibility of a community asset transfer of the town hall - which the authority currently has to subsidise to the tune of £130,000 each year.

Councillor Ian Kettle, Dudley’s cabinet member for regeneration, confirmed: “As part of our commitment to deliver council services more efficiently and breathe new life into our town centres, we are looking at alternative ways of running our town halls.

“Following the successful running of Brierley Hill Civic Hall by Dudley CVS we’re now also looking at the possibility of a community asset transfer of Stourbridge Town Hall to King Edward VI College.

“Stourbridge Town Hall is already a successful and popular venue and we believe, under the management of the college, it will continue to be enjoyed by performers and audiences for generations to come.

“We will keep current users informed of developments but want to assure everyone, if the transfer takes place, it will ensure this valued community asset remains an important venue in Stourbridge for the wider community."

One concerned town hall user expressed concern over the proposed change of management and told the News: “There doesn’t seem to be any consideration for the people who use it."

But a council spokesman promised the proposed transfer would be discussed with regular users of the hall later this month.

Remley Mann, principal of King Edward's, said taking on the venue would be "good news for the town and good news for the college" and she added: “Our plans are to preserve the current usage of the town hall providing an invaluable public building for the use of the community, as well as giving the college extra space for some of our activities.

"The college has played a key role in the community for over 500 years, so we are honoured to be guardians of this important building to secure its future as a focal point for the local community."

King Edward's plans to invest in the building for its future as a community space and for learning activities, a college spokesman said, adding that the old Market Street access to the historic redbrick building could be re-opened as part of the plan.

The venue, which is currently accessed through the Crown Centre complex, is used by a host of community groups for theatre shows, concerts, performances, talks, meetings and events.