THE TENANTS of a Witney town centre hall have called on groups across West Oxfordshire to help them make the building a vibrant community hub.

Residents and businesses joined staff from Inclusive Care and Education Ltd (The ICE Centre) to celebrate the official opening of the newly-renovated Langdale Hall earlier this month.

The ICE Centre, which supports young people and adults with learning disabilities, moved into the hall in March and has spent the last eight months upgrading the venue.

It uses the building from 9am to 4pm six days a week, but the space is available for hire at other times.

The ICE Centre director, Martin Bull, encouraged other community organisations to benefit from the facilities.

He said: "It has worked really well for us, now it's about getting the community involved.

"For us, it's not about the money - we want people to use the hall as much as possible."

Langdale Hall has endured an uncertain existence since Witney Town Council, which still owns the building, agreed to sell the venue to fund repairs to Witney Corn Exchange back in 2011.

It went on the market in 2014, but the council later reversed its decision to sell the building and began exploring options to bring it back into community use.

Meanwhile, the ICE Centre was in need of another hub, after being given notice on its lease at the Allandale Youth Centre in Carterton.

The service offers a mixture of learning and leisure, from weekly swimming sessions to CV advice.

Last year, it was announced The ICE Centre would move into the building and upgrades, including a new disabled toilet and ramp access to the bar, have been added since March.

Carterton resident Mr Bull, whose mother Jill is also a director, said: "About six or seven different companies came in and helped us get the hall back up and running.

"We said they could be the first at the bar when it was done, so the opening was a chance for them to come along."

It made for an optimistic atmosphere at the event, as Witney mayor Brenda Churchill cut the ribbon to open the bar.

The hall is available for private hire and corporate events, while it will host MuzoAkademy music school's Christmas fundraiser on December 1.

Witney Music Festival organisers are also hoping to use a newly-established link with the centre to hold a build-up gig ahead of the event, which takes place in August.

Music festival chairman Eric Marshall said: "These are two organisations with a very similar focus of coming together to benefit the community.

"We are delighted to work with them and bring people together to enjoy the music we have in Witney. We're going to use it as a platform for local artists."