Old registry offices could be new hostel

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A charity plans to promote Dewsbury’s heritage by transforming the town’s former resigtry offices into a hostel and function space.

Learn.org.uk has applied to extend and change the use of the building in Wellington Street, which has not been used since autumn 2012.

Under the Dewsbury organisation’s proposals, the former main wedding room could be rented out at a low “community rate”.

And 10 en-suite rooms could be used by EU delegates visiting the organisation as well as regular customers. Twelve jobs could be created under the scheme.

Learn.org.uk co-founder Yusuf Mayet said: “We are going to try and restore it to its original state.

“It would allow young and older people to have regular access to the building and appreciate it.

“We don’t need the whole building, we only need two rooms.

“It’s a way for people to come over and have a look at Dewsbury and Batley for a few days and generate local income.”

The charity’s young volunteers hatched the plan as a way for the self-funding organisation to sustain itself in the future. Mr Mayet and his friend Zaheer Laher formed the charity in 1991 to teach underprivileged youngsters about computers – and have provided them cheaply or free to the community.

Over the years they have established relationships internationally and now work with exchange students from the EU as part of the Erasmus Programme.

The pair have drafted Tabassum Islam, who runs the Cocoa Lounge in Northgate, to co-ordinate the potential refurb as a volunteer.

However, the proposals are subject to approval by Kirklees Council planning officers.

Public consultation on the plans runs until June 27. View the application at http://www.kirklees.gov.uk