THE FUTURE of a building which has stood at the heart of a community for 100 years is uncertain after its owner was forced to put it up for sale.
The New Miners Institute, on Barnsley Road, Moorthorpe, first opened its doors in 1912 and is currently host to a martial arts academy.
The centre has also seen top musicians such as Cliff Richard perform there in the past.
But current owner Eamon Timmons said he was left with no option but to put the building up for sale for financial reasons.
He said: “I have tried everything in my power to keep it going. I have devoted 22 years of my life to it and I am just pleading for some sort of help to keep it going.
“There’s so much goes on at the premises. Hundreds of people use it every week and the community needs it.”
Mr Timmons, 51, took over the building in 1989 after it became derelict following the miners’ strike.
And he also moved the ET Martial Arts Academy of the Seven Dragons, which he runs, to the centre as well as renting the building out for concerts, events and parties.
Mr Timmons added: “The building has got so much history. It was originally built for the miners and it’s been at the heart of the community for so long.
“It has seen some top acts play there over the years but most importantly it is so important for the children. They learn so much stuff here that can’t learn anywhere else.”
The centre, which is also home to Paws Dog Club, was put up for sale three weeks ago and Mr Timmons is worried that developers could buy the building simply to make way for a new development.
He said: “If someone comes in and buys it and demolishes it then they are ruining it for everyone in the village.
“If you came to me tomorrow and offered me a million pounds for the land I would still say no because it’s that important.
“It’s really hard to put into words because I have devoted my life to this place.”
For more information or if you can help keep the centre open contact Mr Timmons on 07768 848388.