Trustees at a community hub in Oswestry are almost ready to start welcoming people back through their doors after months of closure.

The Oswestry Memorial Hall has been closed during the Covid-19 lockdown, but is hoping to reopen at the beginning of August.

Many social groups in the town use the rooms at the hall on a weekly basis for meetings and sessions.

Erica Moss, a trustee of 25 years, is looking forward to welcoming people back to the hall and believes there is enough room to ensure social distancing can be observed.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming people back through the doors,” she said.

“We will of course provide hand sanitiser and everything has been steam-cleaned so the building is as clean as it can be.

“I personally believe groups will have to be responsible for cleaning while they are there, so they know the place is clean while they are there.

“As far as social distancing is concerned, we can’t have large groups, but we have plenty of space for smaller groups who use our rooms.

“We have eight rooms for renting, so we can cater for different sizes of groups depending on the size and nature of the groups which want to use the place.

“The first groups who are coming to test the facilities out when we reopen are the Slimming World groups and the country markets, and they will be coming for the beginning of August.”

It has been a difficult period for the volunteer-run facility, which has endured months without income because of its closure.

The hall flat, next to the building, was also being rented out, but tenants left meaning the income from the flat was also no longer there.

However, with the hall set to reopen and the flat almost ready to be put back on the market, Erica and the trustees are looking ahead to brighter times.

She hopes people will return to support the hall, which is registered as a charity, and wants to remind the people of Oswestry that the hall belongs to them.

She said: “This is a place that belongs to Oswestry, it certainly doesn’t belong to the trustees.

“We’re a charity, through the Charity Commission, so we just want to keep it going here. We’ve invested a lot of time and effort into keeping it going.

“We normally have a huge range of people using the hall – last time we checked over the course of a week, we had about 5,000 people through the door.

“With that said we’re very much the centre of Oswestry, especially being situated between the three car parks, making us very accessible.

“We also have people visiting from Aberystwyth, the Wirral, Shropshire, Cheshire, Birmingham and from further than that – we attract a lot of people and I feel we are at the beating heart of the town.”

To find out more, contact the hall's new manager, Nikki Moss, on 01691 655793 or 07872 468614.