SILSDEN Town Hall was packed for a celebration marking the launch of its new stage.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was performed by retired headteacher Mike Carey.

He spoke about his late wife Brenda's role in the campaign for a stage in Silsden.

And he voiced his delight that, after many years, community groups again have the chance to bring performance arts to the centre of the town.

Mr Carey – who was awarded the British Empire Medal in last year's New Year's Honours List for his own services to the community – was joined at Saturday's opening ceremony by the town mayor, Councillor Peter Robinson.

Following the ribbon cutting, Haworth Ukulele Group performed.

The event was organised by the Friends of Silsden Town Hall, who successfully applied for a £10,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the stage and new audio equipment.

Silsden Community Productions will use the facility for the first time when it presents the pantomime Goldilocks and the Three Bears, with three evening shows and a Saturday matinee.

Tickets are available from Twiggs newsagents – in Kirkgate – for the performances, from November 30 to December 2.

The Friends are seeking to take over management of the town hall as a community asset when Bradford Council ends its funding of the building in April.

An update on the campaign will be given at a public meeting at the town hall on December 7, at 7pm.