A new community arts group is to take over the lease at Altrincham Town Hall, Trafford council has announced. 

Last year, the council invited local businesses and community groups to bid for the lease of Altrincham Town Hall and the eventual winner was Altrincham-based group Oyez Arts. 

The council is not selling the historic building, which became available when the Council carried out a review of its strategic land programme, but is leasing the building so it can retain control over it in the future. 

Oyez Arts will provide Altrincham with a new arts centre, working with local artists and creatives to provide a wide range of high-quality arts activities, promoting regular participation in culture and creativity. 

The group wants to provide a place where ‘people can meet, create and thrive, and create a much-needed events space in the heart of the town that is open to everyone’. 

Oyez will also continue to host weddings and other public events currently on offer at Altrincham Town Hall. 

Trafford council leader Coun Tom Ross said: “Congratulations to Oyez Arts for being selected to take on the lease at Altrincham Town Hall. We had a number of excellent bids and I am delighted that Oyez was chosen as the eventual winner. 

“The group has an excellent reputation for its community initiatives and we look forward to working with them now and in the future. Thank you to everyone who helped in the procurement exercise –  I am extremely pleased with the outcome.” 

Jo Cushing, Oyez Arts co-founder, said: “We are excited to bring Oyez Arts to Altrincham. Oyez literally means ‘Hear Ye’, it’s an official town hall cry and we love that it represents a call to gather our community as well as a celebratory shout out.

Our events will make the Town Hall buzz with life and bring something new for everyone. We believe, together the possibilities are endless.”

Trafford council back-tracked on its plan to dispose of the town hall a year ago, following a tide of local protest.

It ditched a move to sell the 25-year lease to a childcare company, inviting community groups to tender alternative bids.

Altrincham and Bowdown Civic Society, Altrincham and Sale MP Sir Graham Brady as well as the Green and Liberal Democrat parties campaigned backed by a 2,000–name petition to save the town hall.