Keighley’s civic centre is used and valued by many groups and individuals, despite the negative publicity it has received, according to a Keighley town councillor.

Civic centre committee chairman Coun Peter Corkindale told last week’s annual town meeting: “I was not on this council when the decision to buy this building was made. But I would like to thank those councillors who were because if I had been, I would have voted for this.”

The North Street centre has been subject to controversy after it was first revealed it was running at a loss.

Speaking last Wednesday, Coun Cork-indale added: “The past 12 months have been testing ones. We started with a commitment to raise the profile of the civic centre building, attract more people into it and increase the amount of revenue the building generates.”

He highlighted a long list of organisations and entertainments now hosted by the premises, including tea dances, a Christian group, an astronomy society, a charity and a tourism marketing body.

There is also a regular stream of visitors to its police and forensic science museum. “This building is well used, despite what people say,” he added.