Campaigners carry on fight to save Drill Hall

A FIGHT to save an historic building that has won the backing of hundreds of people will continue at a major public meeting

Members of the Wellingborough Civic Society will present a petition signed by more than 1,000 people, calling for the town's Drill Hall in High Street to be saved, to councillors tomorrow.

The cherished building has been earmarked for demolition as part of the redevelopment of six acres of land around the Jackson's Lane car park.

But Judith Thompson, chairman of the society, said: "Once it's gone it's gone and we have lost so many old buildings in Wellingborough already.

"It has got a lot of history in the town from the 1870s.

"It belongs to the council so they can make the decision, they don't have to do what the developers want."

She will also speak at the meeting of Wellingborough Council. The plans are not due to be submitted until the spring.

Fellow civic society member Marjorie Goddard said: "When we were taking the petitions around lots of people spoke of their memories of the building and said they used it."

The group is urging people to support them at the meeting, which takes place in the town's Swanspool House, in Doddington Road, from 7pm.

The Drill Hall was built in the 1870s as a private house and was then used as a home for the minister of the United Reformed Church.

It became a nursing home during the First World War and a training base for the Territorial Army.

It is now used by charitable organisations, including The Daylight Centre, which provides a safe place for homeless people, and Neighbourhood Learning, which supports adult learning.

The council is considering using the site for 245 new homes, a new campus for Tresham Institute, a multi-storey car park, squares and parks and 13,000sq ft of shops, and believes the area could create 250 new jobs.