EIGHTIES crooner Rick Astley has criticised the likely demolition of Mr Smith's which he called a ‘special venue’.

The ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ star performed the number one hit single at Smiths to crowds of adoring fans.

“I have many great memories of this really special venue,” said the Newton-le Willows resident.

“It was great to have such a brilliant place right on our doorstep.

“It would be a great shame if it were to be demolished."

The campaign to try and save Mr Smiths continues, after LPC Living, which manages the site on Bridgefoot, gave residents the chance to suggest a ‘commercially viable alternative’.

Diane Kerfoot and the team of campaigners are now attempting to raise enough money to buy the Art Deco-style building.

She said a price of £1.2m has been quoted as a minimum, with funding bids due to be made to English Heritage and the National Lottery.

The group hopes Warrington Borough Council will match any funding they secure to re-develop the former nightclub and cinema.

They want to turn it into a theatre, or community centre to support children with learning disabilities, rehabilitate offenders and help the homeless.

“We are looking towards a community building, and trying to see if the council will come on board,” said Diane, aged 45, of Hopefield Road, Lymm.

“People still like the idea of a theatre, but more a community theatre to involve colleges so they have somewhere to perform.

“We also like the idea of a sensory room for disabled children, and somewhere to help the homeless.

“We think its realistic to buy the building. The outreach type work will be easier to attract money for and we think it will be better for the community.”

The campaign group has now set up website warringtonian.com, to go with Twitter and Facebook pages, both called Save Mr Smiths.

It is hoping to meet with the council next week to discuss proposals.

LPC Living also said it is open to meeting with campaigners again.

Anyone interested in getting involved with the campaign can go to the next meeting at Rylands Sports and Social Club, on Monday, September 1, at 8pm.