SILSDEN will have its first full-size performance stage for years thanks to a £10,000 lottery windfall.

The grant, from the National Lottery’s Awards for All scheme, will fund movable stage decking – and high-quality sound equipment – at the town hall.

Jubilant Friends of Silsden Town Hall chairman, Ray Colling, said many different groups would be able to make use of the new facility.

The development comes as initial consultations begin over the transfer of the Kirkgate building to a community asset partnership.

Cash-strapped Bradford Council had warned that the hall, and several other community buildings across the district, would close if no-one came forward to run them.

Mr Colling said the new stage would be an "exciting addition" to what the town offered.

"We recently set-up a financing committee to look at creative new ways of supporting the hall and we are absolutely delighted by such an early success," he added.

Silsden Community Productions, which has previously hired a temporary stage for its annual pantomime, is expected to be among the first users of the new installation later this year.

The town was once noted for its number of home-spun theatrical and musical productions at various venues, but in recent years the facilities have virtually disappeared.

The last wooden stage was dismantled more than six years ago, when the former Methodist Church in Kirkgate was demolished to make way for a new building.

A packed autumn programme of activities is planned by the Friends, including a Gardeners' Question Time – featuring a panel of experts with Katie Rushworth, from ITV's Love Your Garden, among them – a 1940s-themed dance and entertainment with popular singing star Kitty LaMare, a family weekend, musical concerts and tea parties for the elderly.

And Mr Colling said: "We know there are lots of brilliant ideas out there, particularly among young people, for future events that will bring a real buzz to the hall.

"We are absolutely committed to preserving our town hall as a thriving community venue and we shall be keeping all options open for the future."