A POPULAR community hub has been temporarily reopened by Wigan Council.

Pennington Tea Rooms at Pennington Hall Park in Leigh welcomed residents through its doors yesterday, Thursday, after being shut for two months after previous operators The Friends of Pennington Hall Park (FoPHP) left in June following a row with the council.

The facility will be run by the council’s catering service Metrofresh until September 3 when its future will be reviewed with the hope of a new organisation taking over after a community asset transfer is made.

Cllr Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities at the council, said: “It is fantastic to see Pennington Tea Rooms reopened.

"We are sure the tea rooms will prove popular with the local community and visitors and we look forward to securing a new partner to run the tea rooms on a more permanent basis in the future.”

The building was renovated by Leigh Building Services ahead of its reopening on Thursday.

The honour of cutting the ribbon for the facility was given to keen cyclist Betty Orton, who celebrated her 80th birthday on the day with a lunch at the venue where she was joined by friends.

She was presented with a specially-made cake with flowers and candles for her birthday.

Betty said: “It is very nice to be asked to open it.

“It was being painted last week and I asked the workers if it would be open and they said they did not know so I said ‘I will tell you why- it is my birthday’.

“I have always liked going to the tea rooms to use it and I think it is great it has reopened.”

The tea rooms will be open from Wednesday to Sundays from 10.30am to 5.30pm until September 3.