A DESPERATE appeal has been launched to replace the leaking roof on an ageing Keighley community centre.

Volunteers who run the Hainworth Wood Community Centre have to find at least £16,000 to replace the existing roof.

Rainwater regularly seeps through the ceiling, cutting off electricity and making it unsafe to use several rooms.

In the past couple of years the management committee has spent around £7,000 simply patching the roof, but new leaks soon appeared.

Committee member Ellen Bailey, 69, has now launched a fundraising campaign to solve the problem once and for all.

She said: “The building is dropping to bits, it’s fallen into disrepair. The main thing is to get that roof sorted out then we can start working on ways of raising money for other projects.

“If we don’t do this, the place will close. There’s no spare money. We’re at the point that we could go into debt.”

The Hainworth Wood Centre receives £2,335 a year from Bradford Council towards its running costs, and is charged only a nominal rent by Incommunities, but has to cover everything else through fundraising.

The building, which serves the surrounding Woodhouse and Spring Bank neighbourhoods, has a busy timetable of weekly activities including youth groups and the DART social group.

Keighley Big Local, which drives regeneration efforts in the neighbourhood, has provided financial help for the centre – including some of the roof repairs – and is supporting activities for residents.

Ellen has lived for the past 47 years in nearby Spring Bank Rise, across the road from the community centre, and has been involved with the centre for about seven years.

She said the management committee had received estimates for the roof placement of between £16,000 and £20,000.

She added: “We pay a peppercorn rent to Incommunities, but we’re responsible for the upkeep of the building.

“There’s no funding coming through.

“There’s water coming in the ceiling. Water runs down the walls on the inside. We’ve had ceilings patched up and it happens again.

“There’s a computer room with a new IT suite, but we can’t use it because of the water. Our computer group is talking about going to Braithwaite in January. The Job Club has to use the computer in the office but there’s no lights working.

As well as applying for grants, Ellen plans to call a meeting of local residents and town councillors to discuss fundraising ideas.

She suggests Keighley businesses could donate money as a charitable gesture that could attract tax relief.

Anyone able to help with the fundraising campaign should email Ellen at nellebailey@out look.com.