Age Concern is latest casualty

AGE Concern closed the doors of its Cleckheaton office for the final time this week.

The office, in Bradford Road, was the headquarters of the charity in north Kirklees a few years ago, before Age Concern Kirklees went into liquidation in 2009.

It is being forced to move as the owner of the building wants to sell it and the charity cannot afford to purchase the property or rent space elsewhere.

From Monday, the charity will use the Batley Resource Centre, where it already has office space and staff on hand.

This is the second service to be moved out of Cleckheaton in recent weeks, after the Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) closed its town hall office last Friday.

The charity has operated out of the office since the original Kirklees branch of the charity went into liquidation and merged with the Calderdale service.

However its head of trading, Colin Cromack, has reassured elderly people they will still be provided for after the move.

“In an ideal world we wouldn’t be moving at all,” Mr Cromack said.

“We’d love to stay in the town but the fact is we simply cannot afford to buy an office in Cleckheaton.

“This solution isn’t ideal but we’re desperate to stay in North Kirklees.

“Had the CAB remained open, we would have looked at working with them to share their office space, but they are in the same position as us.”

The move away from the town centre has angered elderly people, who worry about making the trip to Batley that involves using two buses.

Mr Cromack added: “What we intend to do at Batley is ensure that our current services continue to grow.

“While we can’t promise anything, we are looking at continuing outreach work in Cleckheaton.

“It could mean one person spending a couple of days a week in the area to meet people face to face.”