Campaigners fighting to save a Ward Green community centre say its closure would herald 'the beginning of the end' for the area's youth facilities.
The residents' committee which manages the Lew Whitehead Community Centre sat shivering in their coats this week at a meeting in the building which has had no heating for six months.
Berneslai Homes, which manages the centre on behalf of Barnsley Council, says there are not enough groups using the centre. It has given the committee until the end of this month to consult with the community and develop a business plan - or the centre will close.
But residents say Berneslai Homes has failed to fix the heating problem and this is deterring people. An art group run at the centre for seven years recently stopped because the building is so cold.
The only other groups now using it are a youth club, with around 30 children, and an over-35s football team.
Residents say Berneslai Homes has not allowed enough time to find ways of saving the centre, which has been serving the community for 40 years.
The committee can cover the centre's day to day costs - like gas bills - for the next few years and had already redecorated and spent more than £2,000 on a new floor when Berneslai Homes broached the idea of closure in November.
The centre was named after local man Lew Whitehead, who contributed to its construction and was made an MBE in recognition of his long involvement with local football teams. Mr Whitehead died in 2009.
Resident Mandy McDonald said it had been one of Mr Whitehead's pleasures to take his grandchildren to the centre, and Denise Mann, who knew him well, said: "If he was sitting here now, they wouldn't be doing what they are doing."
A spokesperson from Berneslai Homes said the heating has been out of order since August as the parts for the boiler are obsolete.
"We have been in discussions with the centre's committee since then trying to determine its long-term future as its usage is low, the income will not, long-term, cover the running costs and we know that the building will need additional major investment."
The spokesperson stressed this was the usual procedure before agreements to spend a significant amount on repairs and maintenance.
"We have now managed to source a part which may mean the existing heating system can be fixed and this repair should be completed in the next few days.
"However, the repair will only be temporary. We will continue to work with the committee and the local community to establish a local need and commitment to use the centre. We will review the position after the public meeting."
• Residents are invited to a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the centre's future, and the committee is also leafleting tomorrow. People can call Coun John Clarke with their views on 07854024170 or e-mail Kevin Williams at email@example.com