Thornbury residents have formed an action group to save Armstrong Hall from closure.

The Armstrong Hall Action Alliance aims to work with the council to restore the venue after it was closed by the trustees rust in March due to the financial impacts of Covid-19.

The Thornbury Musical Theatre Group, the Northavon Youth Theatre Company and Groups involved in the Thornbury Arts Festival are among the many who depend on hall.

“Thornbury is well-known for its thriving arts organisations and active community, something that is going to be needed more than ever as we rebuild from the challenges of the last 18 months,” said the AHAA in a statement.

“Touching the lives of residents from all walks of life within the local area, there is no doubt that the Armstrong Hall should be central to this recovery.”

A proposed alternative location is the Turnberries Community Centre, with South Gloucestershire Council and the Armstrong Hall Trust in talks with trustees of the centre.

But the AHAA said the community centre is "not fit for purpose" for active groups and larger events, and that any extension or refurbishment would take too long for groups whose financial reserves are already dwindling.

“The newly formed Armstrong Hall Action Alliance aims to restore the Armstrong Hall complex to compliant use, to meet the pre-existing and immediate post-Covid needs of the community, while looking to the future and the needs of the town,” they said.

A redevelopment project for the hall was given the green light before the pandemic, but some grant-awarding bodies stopped providing money for new projects once Covid-19 hit the UK and the hall remains at least £77,000 short of the funds needed to reopen.

A spokesperson for the Armstrong Hall Trust added: "The trust does not believe it is reasonable to spend this sum of money in the current circumstances. The trust has, therefore, reluctantly taken the difficult decision to keep the hall closed.”

Jayne Stansfield, chair of the Armstrong Hall Trust, said: “Without the income the hall cannot do the work necessary to reopen, and without opening, the hall cannot generate income.

"It is very much a catch-22 situation for all concerned.”